Preston - Damage to overhead wires

Robnw67

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Over the last couple of months, I have noticed a large number of cancellations and delays due to 'damage to over head wires' while running north of Preston. I thought that overhead wiring equipment was a fairly established technology and reasonably reliable. Is there a new factor or cause for this?
 
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RailUK Forums

a_c_skinner

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OHLE is down at Hest Bank (WCML, North of Lancaster). Filthy weather to fix it too. Question: Is our (UK) OHLE more damage prone than elsewhere? We've had (IIRC) a spate recently.

Andrew
 

plugwash

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I don't know how it compares to other countries, but a bunch of electrification was done with headspan wires. As I understand it headspans are more prone to trouble than rigid portals and when trouble does happen on a headspan system it tends to affect all the lines.
 

WAO

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IIRC, BR/Transmark supplied its Mark 3b OLE system to the Kowloon Canton Railway in 1982 in Typhoon Proof mode, it seems successfully, as reported in Modern Railways at the time.

The older systems probably did assume a higher standard of maintenance (and competence) as the gangs were directly supervised in-house rather than contractors. Modern systems are designed for (necessarily) low maintenance and have better sectioning, IT and robustness.

A lot of the problems in high winds are caused by items being blown onto or falling on the OLE - not something greater tension or thicker, closer spaced masts can prevent.

We have to live with the weather.

WAO
 

a_c_skinner

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Edit: This was at a headspan but the image on the NR page seems to show the headspan intact. Stupidly I'd not thought of stuff blown into the OHLE though stuff falling onto rather than blown into it is largely under rail control.

Was this tongue in cheek? One hopes not!

I am sure more recent builds have been designed much more robustly.
I'm still not clear if our OHLE is more vulnerable for whatever reason.
 
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30907

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..not clear if our OHLE is more vulnerable for whatever reason.
Nor I, but I have an interest in various European railways and OHLE problems both self-inflicted and otherwise are not uncommon.
Apart from some of the new-build high speed lines, I can't think of any mainland lines that operate at the combined frequency and speed of the EC or WC main lines, let alone at around twice the frequency compared with when the wires were put up. Statistically that is likely to lead to more incidents being more disruptive.
BTW I spotted a report of wires damage on the GWML west of Swindon this morning, a route equipped with the latest version of OHLE (and IIRC ultra-heavy-duty at that) - it can happen anywhere :)
 

pdeaves

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BTW I spotted a report of wires damage on the GWML west of Swindon this morning, a route equipped with the latest version of OHLE (and IIRC ultra-heavy-duty at that) - it can happen anywhere
That was caused by some cladding falling off a bridge onto it, so in this particular case not related to OLE 'version' used.
 

hwl

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Nor I, but I have an interest in various European railways and OHLE problems both self-inflicted and otherwise are not uncommon.
Apart from some of the new-build high speed lines, I can't think of any mainland lines that operate at the combined frequency and speed of the EC or WC main lines, let alone at around twice the frequency compared with when the wires were put up. Statistically that is likely to lead to more incidents being more disruptive.
BTW I spotted a report of wires damage on the GWML west of Swindon this morning, a route equipped with the latest version of OHLE (and IIRC ultra-heavy-duty at that) - it can happen anywhere :)
The wind speeds in the UK tend to be higher than most of the continent so we should probably be thinking about engineering our OHLE more robustly.
 

59CosG95

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The wind speeds in the UK tend to be higher than most of the continent so we should probably be thinking about engineering our OHLE more robustly.
Certainly Germany (also a massive headspan user) has more robust headspans (2 headspan wires rather than 1 as I understand).
 

59CosG95

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Picture taken from NR (via Facebook): FB_IMG_1579276306099.jpg
The contact wire on the Up & Down Morecambe line is the culprit; of course, as the system isn't mechanically independent, all lines need isolation.
 

WAO

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Picture taken from NR (via Facebook): View attachment 72819
The contact wire on the Up & Down Morecambe line is the culprit; of course, as the system isn't mechanically independent, all lines need isolation.
...but the headspans and catenary wires look mechanically undamaged. I think that a possession and isolation would be needed anyway, portal or headspan.

WAO
 

HSP 2

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Picture taken from NR (via Facebook): View attachment 72819
The contact wire on the Up & Down Morecambe line is the culprit; of course, as the system isn't mechanically independent, all lines need isolation.
I would not call that the up & down Morecambe line. Its the Hest bank loop line to Morecambe. That only has a wire for about 1/4 mile if that. But it is as close to the sea as you can get on the W.C.M.L. so could it be down to salt air rotting the copper wire having electricity in it and not being "used". Or As it's only a short length that's not used on the main line only for a few 100s Yards until the next tension point it will become weak when the "pan" starts on the wire. You have also got to think that this is the first time that the wires go to max height after Euston due to a road crossing.
 

HSP 2

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Why not? It is named the Down and Up Morecambe (North Curve).
The name that I know it as goes back to when it was a loop, I didn't know that it had been renamed. It will still be Hest Bank loop to me and to a lot more around here.
 

driver9000

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The name that I know it as goes back to when it was a loop, I didn't know that it had been renamed. It will still be Hest Bank loop to me and to a lot more around here.
It's not a recent renaming. When was it a loop and where did the other end come out? I've never known it as Hest Bank loop nor have I ever heard it referred to as such. Locally or professionally.
 

HSP 2

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Your going back to steam days when there was also a station, the loop was around the back of the platform. IIRC it joined back on the main line approx. where the loop starts to go off towards Morecambe.
 

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