Weather causes delays for Metrolink and NET

Both Manchester Metrolink and Nottingham Express Transit have suffered service delays in the past week with the blame in both cases being put down to ice on the wires. For Metrolink the problems happened on Tuesday 24th January with freezing fog the culprit whilst NET’s delays were reported the following day, Wednesday 25th January.

Starting off in Manchester and the problems prevented trams from leaving depot to start the service first thing in the morning. Freezing fog was blamed with a spokesman from Transport for Greater Manchester stating that it “affected the ability to get trams out of the Trafford Depot”. The Altrincham, Manchester Airport, East Didsbury and Eccles lines all suffered the largest delays although trams to both Bury and Ashton-under-Lyne were also affected. The bulk of services returned to the timetable by around 0800 but services to Manchester Airport were still reporting delays at this time.

For Nottingham Express Transit ice on the overhead meant that no trams were running through to Toton Lane with services from Hucknall being terminated short at University Boulevard. The Phoenix Park to Clifton South service was unaffected. A full service was resumed to Toton Lane from around 0740 although delays continued to be experienced whilst the service was reformed.

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7 Responses to Weather causes delays for Metrolink and NET

  1. Kevin says:

    Does only Britain get this weather? Surely we can learn from our European neighbours how to combat this?

    • Steve Hyde says:

      As I have pointed out previously the fairly humid climate we have results in ice forming on the wire. Many European cities have somewhat drier climates. Not all UK cities suffer from the problem. Manchester is famous for its damp climate, that was one of the reasons why it had such a successful cotton industry. Other European cites do suffer similar problems, there was a major shutdown on the Prague network last winter for exactly the same reason.

      • Ken Walker says:

        That will be why temperatures in the region of minus 15 often feel less cold than minus 1 or minus 2, because of it not being damp. It does to me anyway.

  2. i thought they had “ice breakers” running through the night in these conditions…

    • Steve Hyde says:

      The do Peter, but under certain conditions the ice forms again behind them. They would probably need to run a full 12 minute interval service right through the night to keep things completely clear. Frost is fairly easy to clear but the ice formed when freezing temperatures follow rain is a good insulator and quite difficult to clear.

      • Richard Ernill says:

        So I take it that the 9 ice breaker pantograph fitted trams are at best ineffective or at worst not fit for the purpose!

        • Steve Hyde says:

          They work perfectly well in clearing frost and light ice from the wire and prevent serious damage to normal pantographs. What I was trying to explain is that the heavy ice that can form under certain conditions is extremely difficult to remove and can cause pantograph damage.

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