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Bizarre RTT cancellation reason for an RHTT - "Adhesion Problems"!

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swt_passenger

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RHTT = Rail Head Treatment Train. Removal of Leaf fall at this time of year. Removal of snow and ice later on.
 

Adam0984

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This appears today for an RHTT - essentially cancelled owing to poor adhesion!! Or is this a secret code for another problem?

What's RHTT?
Sometimes it means that schedule is cancelled because its been sent onto another route where its particularly bad.

RHTT is Railhead Treatment Train
 

Deepgreen

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Sometimes it means that schedule is cancelled because its been sent onto another route where its particularly bad.

RHTT is Railhead Treatment Train
Yes, but almost no leaves have fallen yet and there has been no ice so where would it go? No routes in the south appear to be suffering from any problems.
 

Ianno87

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Yes, but almost no leaves have fallen yet and there has been no ice so where would it go? No routes in the south appear to be suffering from any problems.

Maybe the "Adhesion Problem" is that Adhesion is too good? :)
 

Deepgreen

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Maybe the "Adhesion Problem" is that Adhesion is too good? :)
Could be! I've long maintained that the RHTT season starts weeks too soon in the south, as not much leaf fall happens these days before the end of October. Peak fall time here in Surrey is now from early November until early December.
 

ExRes

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Who would be the person brave, or stupid, enough to put the start date back though? all it would need would be one single train delayed by an unhelpful leaf and the media and travelling public would go insane
 

Tomnick

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I seem to remember one RHTT circuit being cancelled for a day or two, a few years ago now, because it had been for a slide somewhere, had bad wheelflats and needed the wheel lathe...
 

Deepgreen

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Who would be the person brave, or stupid, enough to put the start date back though? all it would need would be one single train delayed by an unhelpful leaf and the media and travelling public would go insane
I know - we are increasingly held hostage by perception rather than reality.
 

ComUtoR

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Could be! I've long maintained that the RHTT season starts weeks too soon in the south, as not much leaf fall happens these days before the end of October.

I've been slipping for a good two weeks already. I'm glad they are out already.


I know - we are increasingly held hostage by perception rather than reality.

Who's reality ? The guys and gals who are out driving in it or those that just look at the trees ?
 

Kingspanner

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Indeed RHTTs top and tailed by 66s have been patrolling the stretch outside my window (near Dinsdale on the Darlington- Middlesbrough branch) for days now. At this latitude the trees are beginning to turn brown, and I can see one that is nearly bare, possibly due to some wind lately.
 

Deepgreen

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I've been slipping for a good two weeks already. I'm glad they are out already.




Who's reality ? The guys and gals who are out driving in it or those that just look at the trees ?
I'm in the deep south (very wooded Surrey), and I don't know where you are. All I have seen is a very few leaves on the ground (where the rails are). Of course, after a storm, leaves can come down at any time, even in, say, July. If you're driving in this area and have encountered troublesome leaf mulch (rather than any other contaminants such as drizzle) then it's right to be running RHTTs.
 

ComUtoR

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Today we had our first overrun. It's slippy out there.

(rather than any other contaminants such as drizzle)

As to "low adhesion" vs "leaf-fall" Whilst Slippy Season is synonymonus with leaf-fall; but, there is much more to it. This time of year you get that morning dew settling on the rails and that also causes trains to slip. The RHTT does a great job of cleaning the railhead. I would like to see more RHTTs out all year round.

All I have seen is a very few leaves on the ground (where the rails are). Of course, after a storm, leaves can come down at any time, even in, say, July.

It also takes a very minimal ammount of "leaf mulch" to contaminate the railhead. They have been dropping for some time now. That combined with the seasonal dew makes it very slippery out there. As the weather changes it becomes more important to maintain the RHTT circuits. This time of the year they are typically just water jetting and hitting the "known areas or low railhead adhesion" I don't believe they do full circuits as yet. To judge the leaf-fall I look directly out the front of my cab window. I can see the leaves dropping and I can see the contamination on the railhead. Many routes are surrounded on both sides with trees and in deep cuttings. The track is covered with early leaf-fall.

TBH the earlier the better. What I find frustrating is that the "season" is declared started/finished on a specific date. As I said earlier, its been slipping for a couple of weeks now and will absolutly still be slipping when they declare it all over.

Overall what is important is what is happening on the ground. Irrespective of the perception of it being early or late; the railway needs to be more proactive. Todays overrun could have been prevented and the early slips can be put down to complacency or sheer unpreparedness. Nobody thinks about overruns until the seasonal brief comes out or the RHTT trains start running. Even if by running them a few weeks earlier and Driver awareness is increased; that is a benefit.
 

Deepgreen

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Today we had our first overrun. It's slippy out there.



As to "low adhesion" vs "leaf-fall" Whilst Slippy Season is synonymonus with leaf-fall; but, there is much more to it. This time of year you get that morning dew settling on the rails and that also causes trains to slip. The RHTT does a great job of cleaning the railhead. I would like to see more RHTTs out all year round.



It also takes a very minimal ammount of "leaf mulch" to contaminate the railhead. They have been dropping for some time now. That combined with the seasonal dew makes it very slippery out there. As the weather changes it becomes more important to maintain the RHTT circuits. This time of the year they are typically just water jetting and hitting the "known areas or low railhead adhesion" I don't believe they do full circuits as yet. To judge the leaf-fall I look directly out the front of my cab window. I can see the leaves dropping and I can see the contamination on the railhead. Many routes are surrounded on both sides with trees and in deep cuttings. The track is covered with early leaf-fall.

TBH the earlier the better. What I find frustrating is that the "season" is declared started/finished on a specific date. As I said earlier, its been slipping for a couple of weeks now and will absolutly still be slipping when they declare it all over.

Overall what is important is what is happening on the ground. Irrespective of the perception of it being early or late; the railway needs to be more proactive. Todays overrun could have been prevented and the early slips can be put down to complacency or sheer unpreparedness. Nobody thinks about overruns until the seasonal brief comes out or the RHTT trains start running. Even if by running them a few weeks earlier and Driver awareness is increased; that is a benefit.
Are you able to say where in the UK you are?
 

ComUtoR

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Are you able to say where in the UK you are?

I'm in the south but it doesnt matter. Everywhere suffers the same problems and its pointless trying to pick a date per region. The second September hits then we need to start thinking about Autumn and its impact. Get the RHTTs and MPVs out there cleaning and its better for everyone.
 

Deepgreen

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I'm in the south but it doesnt matter. Everywhere suffers the same problems and its pointless trying to pick a date per region. The second September hits then we need to start thinking about Autumn and its impact. Get the RHTTs and MPVs out there cleaning and its better for everyone.
Thanks. You're advocating the leaf fall season starting on 1 September? Do you have a view on the RTT link I started with? I checked earlier and no routes were listed as having any delays specifically from rail conditions (actually it was a very quiet day for problems at that point) so diversion to another route seems unlikely. We've had a particularly huge programme of tree felling on the North Downs line this year with whole swathes now bare, so the problem should reduce here at least.
 
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ComUtoR

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You're advocating the leaf fall season starting on 1 September?

No, just that I support the trains running earlier and that we need to be proactive and flexible with our approach rather than have a specific start/end date which feel arbitary at best.


Do you have a view on the RTT link I started with? I checked earlier and no routes were listed as having any delays specifically from rail conditions (actually it was a very quiet day for problems at that point) so diversion to another route seems unlikely.

I have zero interest in delays. RTT has a tendency to be misinterpreted. The delay codes are just attribution and can change hours, even days later. As long as the people who use the information know what they are doing I'm happy. The codes attributed means very little to anyone outside of the attribution teams. Ive had trains cancelled due to no driver being available. Whilst I was sitting in it !

We've had a particularly huge programme of tree felling on the North Downs line this year with whole swathes now bare, so the problem should reduce here at least.

The new(ish) vegetation management program is a lot better than it sed to be and we are slowly seeing significant gains. Sadly, it just feels hit and miss and the cutting back is not being done at the right time or in the right places. I accept that its a long term solution and it is reducing overruns and delays. The Galacial pace that the railway moves at frustrates us all.
 

43096

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I'm in the deep south (very wooded Surrey), and I don't know where you are. All I have seen is a very few leaves on the ground (where the rails are). Of course, after a storm, leaves can come down at any time, even in, say, July. If you're driving in this area and have encountered troublesome leaf mulch (rather than any other contaminants such as drizzle) then it's right to be running RHTTs.
I'm in the south (Berkshire) and looking out of the window I can see plenty of leaves on the ground already. Still lots more to come, though.
 

Dren Ahmeti

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Thanks. You're advocating the leaf fall season starting on 1 September? Do you have a view on the RTT link I started with? I checked earlier and no routes were listed as having any delays specifically from rail conditions (actually it was a very quiet day for problems at that point) so diversion to another route seems unlikely. We've had a particularly huge programme of tree felling on the North Downs line this year with whole swathes now bare, so the problem should reduce here at least.
I was up on the Golden Valley yesterday, and my train wheel-slipped both at Didcot Parkway and Kemble/Stroud due to the rain and low adhesion. WSP went off both times.
 

TheEdge

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Could be! I've long maintained that the RHTT season starts weeks too soon in the south, as not much leaf fall happens these days before the end of October. Peak fall time here in Surrey is now from early November until early December.

The RHTTs up here started a few weeks too late. I started sliding around at the start of this month but they've only just started running.
 

NI 271

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I know - we are increasingly held hostage by perception rather than reality.

Have you ever seen a car that's been parked under a tree for a long time, particularly at this time of year? 'Leaffall' season is NOT simply about leaves, there's a resin-like substance which falls from trees as well as leaves (and not only when leaves themselves fall), and coats whatever it lands on, which obviously includes rails. Adhesion problems are not caused solely by leaves, no matter what the papers convinced people of in the 1990s, leaves don't need to fall at all for trees to cause adhesion issues.

You may well be a victim of perception, but that perception may merely be your own.
 

Right Away

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This appears today for an RHTT - essentially cancelled owing to poor adhesion!! Or is this a secret code for another problem?

Please don't take the interpretation of the delay codes that Realtime Trains shows too literally. They are a simplified version for the public and lack the exact details. The example you have highlighted is for correct accountancy at delay attribution level. The code 'OE' is used when a railhead treatment train has failed to operate when scheduled to do so. The initial 'O' letter denotes that it is the responsibility of Network Rail. During leaf fall season, Network Rail and the Train Operating Companies agree an accepted amount of minutes that each train can lose in a given section owing to reduced adhesion. These are known as 'leaf fall neutral zones' and the delay minutes acquired up to the agreed amount will be coded as 'TT' and the minutes split evenly between the TOC and Network Rail. If a treatment train has failed to run when scheduled to do so, the delay minutes are no longer split and Network Rail accept them all, hence the need for an 'O' code for Network Rail responsibility.
 
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bb21

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Please don't take the interpretation of the delay codes that Realtime Trains shows too literally. They are a simplified version for the public and lack the exact details. The example you have highlighted is for correct accountancy at delay attribution level. The code 'OE' is used when a railhead treatment train has failed to operate when scheduled to do so. The initial 'O' letter denotes that it is the responsibility of Network Rail. During leaf fall season, Network Rail and the Train Operating Companies agree an accepted amount of minutes that each train can lose in a given section owing to reduced adhesion. These are known as 'leaf fall neutral zones' and the delay minutes acquired up to the agreed amount will be coded as 'TT' and the minutes split evenly between the TOC and Network Rail. If a treatment train has failed to run when scheduled to do so, the delay minutes are no longer split and Network Rail accept them all, hence the need for an 'O' code for Network Rail responsibility.
One major bugbear of mine about these otherwise excellent open data websites, which leads to all sorts of misunderstanding by the general public, even railway staff, which you often see on this forum. I don't doubt their good intentions, but providing misleading information is worse than no information imo.

The Delay Attribution Principles and Rules (DAPR) is publicly available for download from the DAB website here. Anyone interested could find the answer quite easily. They could quite easily have just taken the text from the tables at the end of the guide rather than making up their own.
 

Tom

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On the flip side, giving the full description of each code is probably too much information for the vast majority of users of the sites. The very early versions of RTT used the full descriptions and resulted in more complaints than the current position.

The code is provided for those who understand them and want to know more information, the short description is a broad summary that covers most use cases of that code. It's a happy medium that seems to do the trick quite well.

Bear in mind that TRUST's outputs is also limited - the first code allocated to the train will be the one that shows in perpetuity unless they uncancel and recancel it. If it gets recoded later, then that doesn't change.
 

pompeyfan

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A few years ago, early December RHTTs were still running around. There was an unexpected cold Saturday morning and the water that the treatment trains had sprayed then froze on the 3rd rail. I believe a 10 car 444 got stuck at Worting junction until about 11am, and in the same vein it took the first train up from Portsmouth (0440) about 6 hours to reach Farncombe where it was eventually terminated.
 

bb21

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On the flip side, giving the full description of each code is probably too much information for the vast majority of users of the sites. The very early versions of RTT used the full descriptions and resulted in more complaints than the current position.

The code is provided for those who understand them and want to know more information, the short description is a broad summary that covers most use cases of that code. It's a happy medium that seems to do the trick quite well.

Bear in mind that TRUST's outputs is also limited - the first code allocated to the train will be the one that shows in perpetuity unless they uncancel and recancel it. If it gets recoded later, then that doesn't change.
Yes, I understand. Perhaps these are just odd exceptions but this particular example just sticks out more because it is so wrong (if I may say so), maybe a case of "fix it when problem surfaces".

It's just my two pennies. You can't please everyone.
 

Tom

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I think it's partially wrong for that train specifically, but it wouldn't be wrong if that same code applied to a train specifically affected by a lack of rail adhesion train running.

Talking about RTT itself, the thing here is though that it affects a sandite train which will only appear in the detailed mode which is only used by a smaller proportion of users of the site who a proportion of are railway staff who will know what it is meant to say anyway. This leaves overall a very small proportion of users who won't know how to read it other than just as written which, as far as I'm concerned, makes it essentially a non-issue.
 

ComUtoR

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This leaves overall a very small proportion of users who won't know how to read it other than just as written which, as far as I'm concerned, makes it essentially a non-issue.

As a balance. Would it be worth having the Official list of delay codes listed in the FAQs ? The codes could literally be lifted from the website @bb21 helpfully listed. That way those who wanted specific information about the code can look it up. Or maybe simply provide the delay attribution website as a listed source.

Keep up the good work
 
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