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Engineers welcome rail adhesion research

Promising research into combatting low rail adhesion has been welcomed by light rail engineers.

In a presentation to members of the UKTram Light Rail Engineers Group, Peter Krier of Sheffield University highlighted modifications and improvements made to an innovative cryogenic kit that’s been in development for the past couple of years.

In essence, the system blasts dry ice onto the surface of the rail, removing any deposits to significantly reduce or eliminating any potential hazard.

Results of recent trials on Tyne and Wear Metro and tests on mainline tracks have so far provided very promising data on the effectiveness of the kit and methodology.

Craig O’Brien, Engineering Manager at UK Tram, explained: “Low rail adhesion can have a significant impact on services and has been discussed at previous LREG meetings.

“This latest research into a system that may significantly mitigate the problem is extremely promising, and we look forward to further updates as trials continue.”

The first LREG meeting of 2021 also offered an international perspective on a very topical subject at this time of year – ice on the overhead lines – with a representative from Aarhus in Denmark sharing his experience.

“We always value input from our colleagues from overseas and the latest online meeting offered an ideal opportunity to share best practice,” Craig said.

“The meeting also included discussions on COVID related issues and the impact of Brexit on materials and products coming from overseas.

“In addition, the group will soon be setting out its objectives for 2021, with some exciting work streams on the horizon,” he added.

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