Work is now well underway at depots across London Midland’s network as its fleet and maintenance teams prepare for the winter months ahead.
All 480 of the company’s trains will undergo a comprehensive programme of planned maintenance works to prepare them for winter weather conditions. Neil Bamford, London Midland’s engineering director explained, “We began implementing our Winter Plan back in October after carrying out a thorough analysis of our fleet’s performance last winter, when we saw extremely challenging weather conditions over a protracted period of time.
“Freezing temperatures, ice and snow each bring their own difficulties, so it’s crucial that we plan ahead and prepare our fleet as best we can for our passengers”.
The list of tasks to be undertaken is vast, including:
- Protective jackets being placed around the air pressure system on the Class 170 fleet to stop the brakes and doors sticking.
- New wiper blades being fitted on all 480 trains.
- Specialist deflector plates being installed around each train’s horn to prevent snow blockages (trains are not permitted to run without a working horn).
- Heated couplers being installed on the Class 350 fleet.
- Assessment and checking of the heating system on every train.
- Checking and maintaining de-icing agents and anti-freeze levels throughout the winter.
- Ensuring the trace heating functionality is working to prevent fuel and waste freezing.
The safety of passengers and staff is a major focus for London Midland. Stocks of gritting salt have already been distributed across depots and stations to allow platform edges and walkways to be gritted on a daily basis.
“And it doesn’t stop there”, adds Neil. “The grit and spray means our cleaning schedule has to increase, which adds to the daily programme of work our depot staff must carry out”.
Delivery of the Winter Plan, which includes additional staffing, specialist equipment and labour charges, costs London Midland an estimated £250,000.
Visit our newsroom website for the latest news, press releases and information about London Midland. You can also create your own account to receive our updates as soon as they are published, straight to your email inbox.
Since 2007, London Midland has been providing train services to and from London in the south, to Birmingham in the Midlands and Liverpool in the north-west. Over 60 million passenger journeys a year are made using on the network and London Midland manage 148 stations and operate
over 1,300 services a day.
London Midland is owned by Govia, the partnership between the Go-Ahead Group and Keolis. Govia
is the UK’s busiest rail operator, responsible for nearly 30 per cent of UK passenger rail journeys through its three rail companies, Southern (which includes Gatwick Express services), Southeastern and London Midland. Further information on Govia is available at www.govia.info
London Midland has won a range of awards, including Best Local Transport Integration, four Rail Business Awards for marketing, public relations and customer information, five Golden Spanner Awards for Engineering, two IOIC award for internal communication and three Railstaff Awards for Outstanding Customer Service, Lifesaving and Charity Work.
In 2013 London Midland was awarded the Investors in People (IiP) Silver Award and been awarded the 5 Star award by the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) in 2012.