London Paddington platform 1.(Network Rail Image)
The second series of behind the scenes documentary Paddington Station 24/7 continues on Monday 8 October, with engineers working against the clock to fix a vital piece of electrification equipment near Maidenhead which is causing disruptions across the network.
The series follows railway workers on the Great Western Main Line as they deal with the biggest modernisation of the line for generations, major incidents which are causing disruption on the railway, huge sporting events, as well as the day-to-day challenge of running one of Britain’s busiest stations.
This week, a piece of equipment called a ‘pot’ is found to be cracked, requiring urgent attention to get trains back up and running as the peak travel time rapidly approaches. The pot is a vital piece of insulating equipment fundamental to the smooth running of the electrified lines. Train staff are faced with the tricky dilemma of whether to keep the disrupted services running, or stop all trains to try and get the problem fixed before evening rush hour. Engineers on the track work against the clock to fix the issue, knowing any slight delay will impact trains running to and from the capital at peak time.
Tom Desmond, project manager for route businesses at Network Rail explains:
“Any disruption to rail services in the afternoon has the potential to impact the evening rush hour, when commuters are trying to reach home after a long day at work. It becomes a balancing act to ensure that trains are running and people can complete their journey, whilst maintaining the timetable. Above all our priority is safety, which is something that is paramount when assessing these types of situation.”
Episode 14 of Paddington Station 24/7 will be aired on Monday 8 October on Channel 5 at 9pm with each episode shown on subsequent Monday evenings at the same time.