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Tuesday, 6 March 2018

The Railway Line is Open Again

Well the line was closed when the Beast from the East struck.   Not that it was physically blocked with snow, mind.   Network Rail took the view that the risk of a passenger train getting stuck was too great.   Not just that, the signallers (there are nine signal boxes along the line manned 24/7) could not get to and from work because of blocked roads.   The same blocked roads would impede rescue in the event of a train becoming snowbound.

Anyway, the line was well and truly re-opened on Sunday 4th March when two of the mightiest snowploughs and two of the mightiest freight engines blasted their way through from Carlisle to Skipton and back.   They left Carlisle at 0900 on Sunday and did not get back until 0345 on Monday. A very long day at the office, not just clearing snowdrifts but huge icicles in some of the tunnels.   Well done snow plough driver Willy Ward, seen here at England's highest station, Dent:

Snow Plough Willy in action at Dent

click link above; sound ON and full screen ON

The above was posted on Twitter and is being re-Tweeted widely.   In the spirit of the day, Willy give a wave to photographer Tom Beresford and a friendly toot-toot.   The S&C is like that.

A bit further on from Dent is Blea Moor tunnel where Willy stopped to take this picture:

The real danger to trains with icicles at air shafts is the build-up of ice on the rails below.

Just for fun, this is Willy's train at Horton in Ribblesdale, looking a bit like an angry budgerigar, don't you think?

click to make an angry budgie into an angry eagle.

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