In the last winter season many railways were challenged by the weather conditions impacting their daily train operation and the availability of their railway infrastructure severely. The problem that occurred shows clearly that the railway system is sensitive to all kind of winter conditions. Problems and impacts like iced couplings, trains stuck in snow or frozen switches among others were both reported from Train Operation Companies (TOC) and Infrastructure Managers (IM). Often new rolling stock and infrastructure components were highly impacted, whereas old components and rolling stock turned out to be more reliable.
UIC was requested by several members of the Rail System Forum (RSF) to set up an Experience Platform “Winter and Railways” allowing the members to discuss about the problems occurred and the challenges and later on allowing to exchange best practise to be better prepared for the next winter period 2010/2011.
The investigation will look at the situation from a system view including rolling stock, infrastructure and the interfaces between them. In this system view snow clearing will also be considered.
The first step is to identify the problems that have occurred during the last winter followed by an analysis of the problems’ roots causes dived by Train Operating Companies (TOC) and Infrastructure Managers (IM). After clustering the root causes of the problems provided by the railway company’s experts, the challenges and further best practise will be exchanged in a workshop late summer/ early autumn 2010. It will be also important to identify whether the problems are national or international.
As a result of the survey’s evaluation a recommendation will be assembled, based on the work and results of the experience exchange. All information will be delivered in a final report. UIC requests a strong support for this experience platform in order to help the UIC members being better prepared for the winter 2010/2011.
Results of the UIC Survey "Winter and Railways"
Fact Sheet "Snow and Ice"
UIC/SIAFI Report about "Winter and Railways"
Factsheet "Iced Couplings"
Factsheet "Frozen Horns"
Factsheet "Snow Deflector"
Factsheet "Switches & Crossings"
Factsheet "New Heating Systems"
Factsheet "Weather Management"
Fact Sheet "Winter Preparation" (Information available in German only)
Factsheet "Reduced Service"
Factsheet "Emergency Timetables"
Fact Sheet "Winter Preperation by Deutsche Bahn" (Information available in German only)
Fact Sheet "Winter Preperation by Trafikverket" (Information available in Swedish only)