Has Network Rail's big cleanup started?

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by daccer, 20 Apr 2015.

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  1. daccer

    daccer Member

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    I read in a recent interview with NR's head honcho that he has made a firm commitment to clean up NR's real estate starting with lineside scrap, vegetation and graffiti. In the past few days I have seen several lorries on motorways carting scrap rails around. Are the two connected I wonder? Has anyone else seen any evidence of NR finally deciding to get its house in order?
     
  2. ADRboy

    ADRboy Member

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    Loads of tree clearance going on around Glasgow just now.
     
  3. Mugby

    Mugby Established Member

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    I think I've noticed a slight reduction in the amount of scrap rail lying around.

    Still hundreds of miles of it to clear yet though.
     
  4. Taunton

    Taunton Established Member

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    A start on weed control would also be appropriate. In some places the rails themselves seem to be becoming overwhelmed by them, and it looks like something out of the third world. I can't believe that it "doesn't matter" because the roots must surely interfere with and ultimately block/break the drainage. I wonder what the engineer's gardens at home look like and whether their wives accept the same excuses for non-clearance at weekends!

    People looking at old photographs of a generation ago must be astounded at the immaculate state of the ballast everywhere in comparison. At Taunton there used to be an annual prize given to the PW gang judged to have the best turned-out section, and I believe that elsewhere special lineside boards were allowed at each end of that year's top gang.

    Regarding all the scrap rails laying around, I do wonder what the Method Statement of the engineer (NR being such a procedures/paperwork organisation they must surely do one for all works) says about removing rails that have been replaced.
     
  5. ChiefPlanner

    ChiefPlanner Established Member

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    Fast as they clear the graffiti into London on the Thameslink route - it appears again. Fair play they do it every 6 months or so.


    Some of it is "inside" - e.g commentary at W Hampstead about "who put the dets down in the 10ft way - Mark " ....!!!!
     
  6. bignosemac

    bignosemac Established Member

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    Lots of vegetation shredding and tree cutting going on between Westbury and Bath, Chippenham and Westbury via Melksham, and the line to Weymouth via Yeovil Pen Mill.
     
  7. hassaanhc

    hassaanhc Established Member

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    Loads of vegetation clearance in South London as well. Parts of sections I've noted being done or in the process:
    Clapham Junction to Weybridge via Surbiton (and probably beyond).
    Fulwell to Shepperton.
    Barnes to Twickenham (direct route via Richmond).
    I'm sure I've seen others as well, but I can't remember them right now!
     
  8. Ash Bridge

    Ash Bridge Established Member

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    Noticed some cutting back of foliage on the Styal line during a trip yesterday around the Heald Green and Gatley areas, although not very drastic with numerous straggly silver birch and sycamore trees left untouched. Presume that's to keep the tree huggers happy who live alongside the line?
     
    Last edited: 21 Apr 2015
  9. nlogax

    nlogax Member

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    Pretty sure it now being bird nesting season is a major factor.
     
  10. thebigcheese

    thebigcheese Member

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    They have their work cut out...there's a small forest of buddleia growing next to the tracks and out of bridges round Gravesend
     
  11. thealexweb

    thealexweb Member

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    Will the rusted tankers outside Bolton be removed? They have been there for at least a few decades some of them.
     
  12. spuddie

    spuddie Member

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    vegetation clearing has also been going on between Hemel and Watford
     
  13. Cletus

    Cletus Established Member

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    New financial year, new budget?
     
  14. Blindtraveler

    Blindtraveler Established Member

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    Nowhere near enough to a Pacer :(
    A cleaner or 2 wouldnt go a miss at some NR Managed station bogs!
     
  15. Elecman

    Elecman Established Member

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    Do you mean the wagons at Burnden Jct?
     
  16. tsr

    tsr Established Member

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    It gets to something when a station under heavy refurbishment like East Croydon has large weeds growing out of the sides of platforms which are in any case regularly closed overnight... somehow it seems the whole network is not always universal in its tidying up!
     
  17. alxndr

    alxndr Member

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    Perhaps if there were still patches then more pride would be taken in them... I certainly think so. Although maybe places which do still have patches prove me wrong.

    As far as I'm aware they're asked to take the old away with them, it's certainly what I've seen happen. I think the issue may be more of new rail getting dumped awaiting a job, the job getting canceled for whatever reason, and the rail just sitting there. Seen that happen a few times, especially with long/awkward pieces.

    The recycling targets have just been released, but not sure if that would include clean ups too.
     
    Last edited: 21 Apr 2015
  18. hemsl

    hemsl Member

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    I completely agree - although TfL seem to do a much better job of removing graffiti on the routes they maintain. I've seen many stretches of above-ground Underground lines that have no or very little graffiti. Perhaps there's a lesson Network Rail can learn...
     
  19. Rapidash

    Rapidash Member

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    Considering its less than 20 minutes from the rail recycling depot at Newton Abbot, the rails into Paignton station look remarkably like they've got third rail going on! :)

    There's tonnes of NR work going on around Devon though, so it could well be happening here as well.
     
  20. Bald Rick

    Bald Rick Established Member

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    The lesson is to get funding to remove it. TfL are very keen that LU remove graffiti and pay accordingly. NRs funders are not as bothered.
     
  21. TOCDriver

    TOCDriver Member

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    Hope not! Those hopper wagons have become an institution! But answering the OP's original question, I would suspect they have. Loads of cleaning up being done around the NW including a total deforestation between the fast and slow lines at Euxton. Looks totally different now
     
    Last edited: 21 Apr 2015
  22. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    Yeah, it's illegal to interfere with a nest isn't it?
     
  23. sbt

    sbt Member

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  24. Pigeon

    Pigeon Member

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    It damages the "resilience" of the ballast as well, due to the gaps between the stones getting filled up with humus so it all packs into a solid mass that behaves more as if the tracks were laid straight on the earth rather than on ballast, with deleterious effects on the track alignment.

    I can't help wondering if a bit of applied botany might rewrite the rules, though I don't know enough about the vegetable kingdom to take the idea further... some kind of plant with the right sort of root system (thick tough woody roots rather than thin flexible ones?), along with the right sort of stone to suit it, so that the roots help to maintain, rather than damage, the resilience of the system, and at the same time unwanted plants find it difficult to compete. Scree slopes or recent lava flows might be the sort of place to look for suitable plants. If such plants exist it could be a largely self-maintaining system.

    Some stations, particularly recently-constructed ones, can be very harsh and hostile places to wait for a train, especially on a hot day - great dry sterile hard glaring expanses of concrete and stone, like a scar of desert laid in a wound in the land. While plants growing in the ballast may be bad for the infrastructure, they do significantly soften the feel of such stations and make them more appealing places to wait; if "Bio-Ballast" did turn out to be a practical idea, it would be a win all round.
     
  25. SGS

    SGS Member

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  26. stockport1

    stockport1 Member

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    Trees were chopped over the last weekend around winsford on WCML
     
  27. Deepgreen

    Deepgreen Established Member

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    Tree clearance is not really what the clean up should be about - it is normally done to reduce adhesion problems in the autumn. There has been a big clearance effort on many lines in the south east in the late winter. The real issue is the appalling amount of railway and other rubbish on the railway. The amount of discarded rail is almost beyond belief and vast amounts of other railway gear is just abandoned. Despite Mr Carne's assurances, huge quantities of old rail are STILL being dumped at the line side - e.g. Norwood Junction very recently. As long as a policy of removal when the work is done is not implemented, the problem will never be tackled.
     
  28. daccer

    daccer Member

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    I had the need to do a short trip in London this week, Feltham to Richmond. I actually thought I would observe the lineside in passing and see the condition it was in with a view to comparing it to the LU when I went from Richmond to Acton. There is no comparison. The thing I really don't get is there is surely a value attached to much of the scrap - rails especially do have a high scrap value. There had also been some vegetation clearance in the past with the residue stuck into white bulk bags for collection which had never happened and these bags in turn have become trash. Lastly graffiti was rife, there were still derelict bothys/sheds in place and on land adjacent to the railway (whose land it is I am not sure) whole sections of track had been stacked.

    I cannot think of any other organisation that would tolerate this kind of attitude. NR justify there high level debt levels by attributing a very high value to their estate. This way their 'balance sheet' shows their debt ratio being manageable. If it is a 50bn asset surely it should be looked after better. Whilst I am at it Feltham station needs a bloody good clean.
     
  29. sbt

    sbt Member

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    Much as the mess annoys me the thing that gets me most is that scrap rail etc. often appears to me, as a non-railwayman, to deny the use of the cess as a place of refuge, sometimes for significant distances. In many places its a bit marginal - its would be possible to use the cess but the risk of trips and falls seems large, especially nasty as I travel exclusively in a third-rail areas. Regardless of any general 'tidy up' surely there should be a survey of where scrap rail and similar items reduce safety margins and a prioritisation of those spots?
     
  30. daccer

    daccer Member

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    When I worked at Leicester in the late 80's we looked after Forders sidings. A railwayman tripped there and lost an arm. Cue much expenditure and tidying up . Horse bolted methinks.
     
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