There's No Business Like Snow Business!
Extremely heavy snow - which was forecast several days earlier - fell on the south east of England overnight Sunday 1st February into Monday 2nd. The result was the worst white-out in this part of the country for 18 years causing exceptional disruption. Further snow in some places and very low temperatures occurred over the following night compounding the situation. There is no doubt the transportation system did not cope as well as in days of old and debates are raging long and hard over whether it is viable to plan and equip for such an infrequent exceptional event, whether modern trains and management processes are robust enough, etc. It is tempting to call this feature there's no business because of the snow business! However, this website will refrain from entering this fray because we'd like to recognise the dedicated hard work and professionalism of railwaymen who strove to keep services running within, some might say despite of, current strictures.
The following is an indicative summary of services running on Monday 2nd and Tuesday 3rd, although it is certain that this is not a complete picture as information systems on these days were overloaded and thus data difficult to obtain. Nor will it be accurate if services ran differently to plans or following reports services were subsequently changed.
Monday - First Capital Connect (3rd rail network)
Monday - Southeastern
Monday - Southern
Monday - South West Trains
Tuesday - First Capital Connect (3rd rail network)
Tuesday - Southeastern
Tuesday - Southern
Tuesday - South West Trains
Before the weather became a problem! 5808 at Crystal Palace during the evening of 1st February.
photograph by Southern Driver
The snow is beginning to settle at Waterloo on a very bleak night, portending what was to come over the follwing two days. The Class 444 seen in this picture, due to depart with a Weymouth service, will put up a spactacular show of arching whilst going through Wimbledon.
photograph by "Driver Potter" http://wimbledonparkdepot.spaces.live.com/
Keeping the tracks clear into the night. (above left) The view through the secondman's window from the cab of 5914 at a bleak Ewell West. Compare this with photographs of the station on Monday [page 3] and Tuesday [page 4]. (above right) 5914 battling the elements on its way to Woking.
photographs by "Driver Potter" http://wimbledonparkdepot.spaces.live.com/
Network Rail and their contractors were out both during the day and overnight ensuring, as well as conditions would allow, the rail heads were kept clear of ice.
|Former GLV de-icing van 9109 and Electro-diesel 73212 at work at Tonbridge around lunchtime on Monday 2nd, photograph by Colin Price|
|First GBRf EDL 73206 at Redhill with a de-icing train just before dawn on Tuesday 3rd, photograph by Ian Buck.|