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Weather challenges tackled by UKTram working group Friday April 1, 2022

The impact of adverse weather conditions on tram networks, and some effective measures to mitigate against them, have been put under the spotlight during a recent meeting of UKTram’s Operations Group.

It now plans to develop a comprehensive guide to keeping services on track when snow, gales, leaf falls, flooding, low visibility or extreme temperatures threaten disruption.

Steve Duckering, UKTram Operations Manager, explained: “During a best practice session, members of the group shared their experience of dealing with adverse weather.

“They highlighted what has and hasn’t worked in the past, along with some of the unintended consequences of the steps they had taken.”

The key points of the discussion included pre-planning for weather events, special timetables, the effectiveness of weather alerts and decision-making processes within organisations when severe weather impacts on operations.

“The meeting also heard some interesting tips on dealing with problems that can arise, including the effectiveness of using leaf blowers to clear snow from platforms before it becomes compacted,” Steve said. “The strategic planting of trees to shield trackside computer cabinets on some networks has also helped reduce signalling faults.

“Practical measures such as this will be included in a future best practice guide that a new sub-group will work on to help build resilience across the sector.”

Held last week, the Operations Group meeting also received an update from networks on a return to ‘normal’ operations following the easing of Covid restrictions.