Serious electric power problems between Birmingham and Coventry (05/04)

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jimm

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From National Rail

Damage to the overhead electric wires near Birmingham International is causing disruption to trains between Coventry and Birmingham New Street. This is expected to continue until 15:00.
Trains are currently unable to run between Birmingham International and Birmingham New Street and are expected to be cancelled, delayed or diverted where possible.
Road transport is operating between Northampton and Rugby via Long Buckby and also between Nuneaton and Coventry. Road transport has been requested to operate between Coventry, Birmingham International and Birmingham New Street.

But the picture seems somewhat confused, with the Birmingham Mail website saying that the problem is at Hampton-in-Arden, south of International.

And Virgin's journey check page saying

Cancellations to services between Birmingham International and Coventry
Due to damage to the overhead electric wires between Birmingham International and Coventry all lines are blocked.

At any rate, it's a big mess...
 

ScouserGirl

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That's funny, I'm sure I keep reading on these boards it's only the ECML which has OHLE problems because it was done on the cheap which the WCML is supposedly immune to..... :lol:

http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/service_disruptions/122849.aspx

Oh trust me the amount of times I've had delay repay from the WCML due to OHLE is stupid, last year it was about £250 of RTVs and one delay repay back onto my bank card!

From what I have heard about the incident today a train has tripped the OHLE and it seems to be causing chaos now..
 

A0wen

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Oh trust me the amount of times I've had delay repay from the WCML due to OHLE is stupid, last year it was about £250 of RTVs and one delay repay back onto my bank card!

From what I have heard about the incident today a train has tripped the OHLE and it seems to be causing chaos now..

That I don't doubt.

I was being tongue-in-cheek as there are some posters here with genuine knowledge on this matter who have regularly debunked the myth that the ECML electrification was done 'on the cheap' or is substandard, but as ever with a lie, it's halfway around the world by the time the truth's got it's boots on in the morning.
 

Minilad

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Wires down at Birmingham International. Approx 12 droppers off and contact wire down. One train stranded across a main cross over at International. One 350 has pan damage and another has had pan ripped off.
In other words a big mess
 

Philip Phlopp

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That I don't doubt.

I was being tongue-in-cheek as there are some posters here with genuine knowledge on this matter who have regularly debunked the myth that the ECML electrification was done 'on the cheap' or is substandard.

I hate to burst your bubble, but it was and it is.

Dewirements happen, we can try and stop it by designing better OLE and making reliability modifications to the existing designs, but bird strikes, debris in pantographs or wrapped round droppers and cantilevers, simple mechanical failure, tensioning failures and so on ad infinitum will all happen.

The OLE failure rate per service on the ECML is higher, but there are more electric trains on the WCML, so it suffers from similar numbers of OLE issues, despite being quite considerably more reliable. The delay minutes and cancellations from each dewirement on the ECML are of course much more severe and if you look at those metrics, the ECML can seem even more reliable, but that's down to headspan failures in a dewirement scenario

In terms of dewirements divided by the number of train services and/or pantographs, the WCML electrification is the most reliable OLE in the country, though the new GEML electrification will be taking the title when the rewiring program is complete. WCML electrification was, as a result, the baseline used for the target failure rate Series 1 OLE has to achieve.
 

Philip Phlopp

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Are some classes more prone to bringing the wires down then others?

No.

Pantographs make all the difference, the older Stone Faiveley AMBR pantograph isn't great in multiple and at higher speeds, when units so fitted work in multiple, the trailing pantograph has a hell of a job maintaining contact.

The British Rail/Brecknell Willis (BR/BW) High Speed pantograph is much better, it can maintain contact at higher speeds and trailing pantographs maintain contact much easier. There are two types of BR/BW HS pan, one has the aerofoil on the knuckle, the other has the aerofoil just under the head, received wisdom is that those with the aerofoil under the head are fractionally better at maintaining contact.

The better a pantograph is at sticking to the contact wire like glue, the lower the risk of damaging the head and causing a dewirement.
 

sprinterguy

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Both lines are expected to remain closed until repairs are complete, which could drag on well into the evening peak.

London Midland and ATW are running trains between Birmingham New Street and International, Crosscountry are diverting Manchester - Bournemouth trains via Solihull, with a 170 shuttle running between Leamington Spa and Coventry.
 

Minilad

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Both lines are expected to remain closed until repairs are complete, which could drag on well into the evening peak.

London Midland and ATW are running trains between Birmingham New Street and International, Crosscountry are diverting Manchester - Bournemouth trains via Solihull, with a 170 shuttle running between Leamington Spa and Coventry.

What a good idea. Nice to see XC being proactive there
 

Cherry_Picker

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How is the 170 working? You can only access bay platform 4 from the Coventry/Warwick end of the station and during the day that's often occupied by the Chiltern shuttles between Leamington & Birmingham or Stratford. Are XC coming into the up platform from Coventry and then shunting to the down side for the back working?
 

IrishDave

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How is the 170 working? You can only access bay platform 4 from the Coventry/Warwick end of the station and during the day that's often occupied by the Chiltern shuttles between Leamington & Birmingham or Stratford. Are XC coming into the up platform from Coventry and then shunting to the down side for the back working?

Actually, you can't get back from platform 4 towards Coventry - there's no trailing crossover. RTT suggests the trains from Coventry are terminating in platform 4, and then shunting across to platform 1 to form the working back towards Coventry.

It's nominally timetabled as leaving Leamington at xx20 and Coventry at xx40, with an 11-minute journey time in both directions (giving nearly half an hour for the shunt), though most of them have been a little late leaving Leamington to allow the xx21 or xx22 Chiltern arrival from Birmingham into platform 3 first.
 

howittpie

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The replacment buses at New Street and Coventry seemed well organised and there seemed plenty of them a nice touch at Coventry they were giving out water or cans of coke. I assume they were raiding the stocks in the first class lounge.
 

YorkshireBear

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Currently on the 1455 Moor St-Marylebone (Chiltern are passing LM and Virgin tickets). To my utter disbelief, this train is formed of a single 2-coach Turbostar. Needless to say conditions are less than lovely.

And i bet most days it is empty... Modern railways don't leave a lot of room for an additional carriage, they will all be in London waiting for the peak. Or preparing for peak at Birmingham in an hours time.
 

A0wen

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LM showing a very limited Cov - Birmingham NS service - anyone know if they're using an electric unit or have they drafted in a diesel for these services?
 

howittpie

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An update stood at New Street awaiting 17.10 Euston which is running at the moment one of the first through so I have been told.
 

Mugby

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The report on BBC Midlands news yesterday said the coach companies were able to name their own price.

Nice work if you can get it!
 

snowball

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In terms of dewirements divided by the number of train services and/or pantographs, the WCML electrification is the most reliable OLE in the country

Even north of Weaver where it's Mk 3a, I think?

If so then that's presumably because it's mostly two tracks so not many headspans.
 

Class 66's

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While we are on the topic, can I ask, where is the current return for OHLE, as there is only 1 contact wire.
 
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