March 2010 in Network Rail and Suppliers
A reporter is concerned about "rough riding‟ on crossover points near Tyseley station, between Birmingham Moor Street and Acocks Green. The reporter comments that in January 2008 signalling arrangements were changed and a new set of crossover points came into use to enable trains on a fast service to pass through platforms one and two at Tyseley station.
The line speed at these crossover points is 60mph, which the reporter believes is the reason for the "rough riding‟.
The reporter comments that the trains rocks quite severely from side to side, as a result both staff and passengers get thrown around, which could lead to a serious injury.
Could Network Rail comment on the possibility of reducing the speed over these crossover points to 40 or 50mph?
Network Rail would like to thank the reporter for raising their concern regarding the rough ride over points near Tyseley station.
The section of track referred to was installed as part of the Tyseley re-modelling work in late 2007/ early 2008. We acknowledge that the ride could be improved, and have engineering work planned there in 11 weeks time. The timescale is dictated by the availability of specialised equipment to carry out the necessary track geometry adjustments.
The track is designed for 60mph and any reduction in speed, if required, is based on scientific data. The scientific data is produced by the rigorous track analysis equipment that runs over this portion of line on a four weekly cycle. This information is scrutinised by experienced engineers and used to determine where work may be required currently or in the future, or if immediate action is required to maintain safety, i.e. a reduction in the running speed of the trains. The information for the section of railway in question has shown a deterioration over the last eight weeks. However, currently the figures are a long way from causing concern, and subsequently there is no requirement to reduce the line speed.
Other inspection methods include a weekly foot-patrol and a monthly cab ride; once again carried out by experienced engineering staff. They also cross-reference the outputs of the track geometry analysis equipment with their own findings so that nothing is missed or overlooked.
Once the planned work has been completed, the next run of scientific data will be analysed to confirm its effectiveness.