Tuesday, 22 January 2008

THAT landslide (in pictures)

It all seems but a distant memory, but back in December commuters to, from or through Worcester Park will recall the week and a half of misery caused by a landslide in the area.

The long awaited photograph of this catacylsmic incident has now been released and [drum roll] here it is:

Now, to the untrained eye (of which I have two), this hardly appears the major incident that caused nearly a fortnight of suffering.

It looks to me more like a large sheep landed on the rails, buckled them slightly, shed its fleece by the side of the track and spilled some gravel as it ran away. Perhaps that is really what happened, and it's all a conspiracy....

However Amy, who posted this photo on the Worcester Park Appreciation group on Facebook (what, you mean you're not on it yet?), tells me she showed this to some trainspotting anorak types at her workplace who confirmed it was indeed a serious incident; so apparently Network Rail aren't to blame in this instance.

I remain unconvinced.

6 COMMENTS (Add Yours Now!):

Simon H said...

You are correct in saying that this was neither Network Rail's fault or South West Trains fault.

On the day the incident happened, there was very heavy rain and strong wind the night before, which is probably responsible.

The ballast underneath the track (ie the stones) gave way and slid down the embankment. With this, the 'foundation' on which the sleepers lay (the slabs of conrete upon which the rails rest on) also moved considerably, and as a result the running rails and the traction current rail on the down line (towards Epsom) became distorted and disfigured. Any train attempting to travel over this area would have derailed and caused further damage.

The repair work which was carried out by Network Rail including shoring up the embankment by building a reinforcing wall, which involved long piledrilling work, relaying the damaged track and ensuring the track circuit along the running rails was re-established.

The disruption could have been a lot worse. After the first few days, Network Rail managed to arrange for Bi-Directonal Pilotman operation over the London Bound line between Worcester Park and Epsom - meaning trains in both directions would be able to run over the London Bound line. At least this allowed some trains to run!

Thing is, some people may recall there was a problem involving the set of points at Worcester Park, which prevented the Bi-Directional working towards the ending of this incident.

It did cause serious disruption, but I feel a very good job was done by all parties involved to minimise the overall disruption and to get the problem fixed as quickly as possible.

Admittedly, when it comes down to replacement buses, they are always very unreliable, sparadic and don't seem to run to any set time.

Public Transport Travel News Editor

Worcester Park said...

Simon - thanks for that. Very informative.

So you're saying it was definitely NOT a large sheep that caused this?


Anonymous said...

Does anyone else think that Simon has too much time on his hands for his own good?

SIMON said...

I am saying, it was a large sheep.

Basically, my theory is that overall the heavy rain and strong wind was ultimately responsible, BUT the real cause was sheep.

I think that the sheep found it was the wrong type of rain and this freaked it out a little, so it panicked and then ran as fast as it could, at 500mph to get to safety, but caught itself on the conductor rail, got electrocuted and it went from there.

John Carr said...
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John Carr said...
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