40796 Tracks in ‘very poor’ condition
August 2009 in Network Rail and Suppliers
A reporter has contacted CIRAS regarding the state of the rails
at Theale East, Berkshire, on the up main line.
The railhead on this piece of track is described as being in
"critical‟ condition, so much so that there is a risk of
derailment. The reporter therefore feels that a speed restriction
should be imposed with immediate effect until the tracks can be
Response from Network Rail
The section manager Newbury P-way inspected the track from the
attached CIRAS report and their findings were as follows:
- Between 41m 20c & 40m 60c on the UP Line there is a
requirement for both plain line & S&C tamping, which will
occur during the week commencing the 3rd August 2009. This work was
planned for the week commencing the 6th July 2009 but was cancelled
due to the high temperatures experienced during that week.
- There are what might be viewed as cyclic top on the plain line
as seen from the UP platform. This is due to the angle from the
platform compared to the rail. In reality there is no cyclic
- There is a long history associated with both top and alignment
on both UP&DN lines at Theale East that stretches back to the
early 1980s. During the last twenty years, the track has been
stressed, re railed, tamped and the timber sleepers replaced.
- The track recording coach ran on the 19th June 2009 and found a
35m alignment fault on the UP line, which will be rectified by the
In conclusion, no issues had been identified that were not known
about through the robust inspection regimes delivered. However, a
suitable and robust assessed rectification plan is in place.