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Network Rail has installed 60 solar-powered weather stations along the West Coast Main Line.
The weather stations will monitor the weather along the railway between London Euston and Carlisle, and in parts of the North West.
The weather stations are part of a £1.3m investment that will provide engineers with access to real-time data so that during extreme weather, engineers can quickly travel to the most appropriate places to keep trains moving.
Measurements recorded by the weather stations include:
Data gathered will help to provide Network Rail’s meteorologists with a long-term picture of the weather across the network, and highlight those locations that are more vulnerable to bad weather before it happens.
Talisa Fletcher, Network Rail service delivery manager, said: “With extreme weather incidents increasing we’ve invested £1.3m to improve our weather monitoring capabilities on the West Coast main line and in the north west.
“Our solar-powered weather stations will help us to better understand weather patterns and during stormy weather we can send our response teams to where they’re most needed which will help us to reduce disruption and keep passengers safe.”
Since 2015, extreme weather in Network Rail’s North West and Central regions has caused train delays equivalent to half a million minutes, or more than 400 days.
Thousands of West Coast main line passengers were delayed recently in their journeys to COP 26 in Glasgow as a month’s fell in a few hours, leading to speed restrictions and emergency line closures.
The new weather stations will Network Rail to be better prepared for changing climate conditions, thereby reducing delays for both passengers and freight.
Rail travel is the greenest form of public transport. One passenger train can take up to 500 cars off the road, and one freight train is equivalent to an average of 76 lorries.
For more on how Network Rail manages extreme weather visit: http://www.networkrail.co.uk/running-the-railway/looking-after-the-railway/responding-to-weather-impacts-on-the-railway/
To read more about the rail industry’s We Mean Green campaign visit: http://www.networkrail.co.uk/stories/we-mean-green/
This article first appeared on www.railadvent.co.uk
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