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Railhub Archive
1996-06-04 DoT-001
Department of Transport


John Watts unveils technology to help solve wheel slip on trains

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Thames Trains

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Department of Transport

John Watts unveils technology to help solve wheel slip on trains

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4 June 1996
source Department of Transport
type Press release

note 176

New technology designed to combat the problem of Leaves on the line
or wheel slip by trains was unveiled by John Watts, Minister for
Railways and Roads today, on a visit to Thames Trains in Reading.

The Automatic Continuous Sander (ACS) is being fitted by Thames
Trains and Angel Train Contracts to their entire fleet of Class 165
and 166 Turbo trains. It has taken nine months to develop at a
capital and development cost of #1.3 million. The fitting is due
for completion by the Autumn.

Welcoming the move, Mr Watts said:

I am impressed by the technology that Thames Trains and the rolling
stock leasing company Angel Trains Ltd are utilising to help solve
the hazardous problem of wheel slip by trains in this area. Safety
on the railways is always top priority and any innovation that
improves on the high standard that already exists is very welcome.

The ACS being used on Thames trains is controlled by a computer.
When the computer detects excessive wheel slip during braking, sand
is applied to the track. This improves the adhesion between the
wheels and track enabling the Turbo to come to a controlled. The
computer can repeat this action as often as necessary during a

In addition to this, Thames Trains is bringing in other measures
to help solve the problem of wheel slip. these are:

Poor weather driver training;

Satellite linked system to give drivers not only the latest weather
reports as they book on duty but also to bring them up to date with
reports on adhesion throughout the day;

Working with Railtrack to identify and deal with lineside vegetation.


1. Thames Trains operates a passenger service principally between
London and Oxford via Reading with certain services extending to
Stratford-upon-Avon via Banbury to Hereford via Worcester. The
company also operates between Reading and Gatwick Airport via
Guildford and between Reading and Basingstoke.

2. For more information on the Automatic Continuous Sander, please
contact Diana Leigh, Thames Trains press office: Tel 01734 579731.

# = pounds sterling

Railhub Archive ::: 1996-06-04 DoT-001


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