Reasons for delays on Southeastern trains, including weather conditions and engineering works.
Delays explained further
Times are changing
We're making some small changes to our timetable this autumn to keep trains running on time. Each autumn, approximately 50 million leaves fall onto our train tracks, meaning our drivers need more time to stop and start the trains as the wheels have less grip on the tracks. You can learn more here about what we're doing to keep our services moving, you won't beleaf it.
As temperatures drop and nights draw in, so too come cosy evenings by the fire and the twinkling of festive lights in trees and windows across the country.
But as we head further into the season and the weather takes a turn, problems can arise across the rail network.
When the mercury plummets, even the lightest shower of rain or dusting of snow can freeze and become compacted on the rails, insulating the electric rail and preventing trains from drawing power or being able to move with any speed. And in the worst cases, it prevents them from being able to move at all.
Snow and ice also causes points – which allow trains to move between tracks – to freeze solid, or get jammed with compacted snow. When this happens, trains can’t safely run over them.
The couplers that join carriages together can also become iced up, making it difficult to join them together, or split them apart, and reducing the number of trains we have available.
But we know you’ve got places to go.
We’re on the case
- Running snow-and-ice-busting trains around the clock when winter weather strikes which are fitted with anti-icing fluid to stop the electric rail freezing up, adhesion gel for the rails for wheel grip, and snow ploughs when weather is severe
- Fitting points which are most likely to freeze with heaters and NASA-grade insulation to prevent ice forming and them sticking in place
- Applying heating strips on those electric rails most likely to freeze
- Running empty ‘ghost trains’ overnight to keep tracks and overhead cables free of snow and ice
- Changing to a Severe Winter Weather Timetable to keep trains running
- And station teams are ready to go with gritting and snow-clearing
- Monitoring them remotely
- Introducing new designs for points and their components
- Painting some points white so they absorb less heat