WITH more snow expected the electric trains running on the third rail system south of the River Thames will be in difficulty again. It has always been difficult to operate this system when ice forms on the electric rail.
The new generation of electric trains have added to the problem.
The previous (slam door) trains had couplings that could be adjusted and they could be pulled by any locomotive. During snow conditions freight locomotives were placed at strategic locations ready to rescue failed trains.
The railway management failed badly when the current electric trains were introduced on the system as they did not formulate a standard coupling policy. First Capital Connect, Gatwick Express and Southern all have trains with different couplers/on board systems and cannot be combined to assist each other when in difficulty.
There are very few locomotives available that can be used with the new electric units. Should you be unfortunate enough to get stuck between stations you will be there for a long time. There is very little that can be done to move you.
Albert Road, Polegate