As we get close to Stuttgart, the lounge is full of railway – I couldn’t be bothered to lug it all up to the loft just to bring it back down on Monday. All is prepared…. we hope! I’ve even started to look at the weather forecast for next week in Germany. At the moment, there’s no snow in Stuttgart, so we should get there all right.
But here’s an interesting link from the BBC on signal failure. Three minutes describes the challenges faced by Network Rail in keeping everything moving.
Matthew Broad was waiting for a train at Reading station, England, which it seemed would never arrive.
“I was miffed. But then came the familiar excuse – signal failure.” Matthew wanted to find out more about the causes of signal failure so wrote to the BBC to ask us to find out.
Last year in the UK there were more than 19,000 delays of 100 minutes or longer caused by signal failure. Here’s what causes it and what Network Rail are doing to alleviate the problem.
The interesting thing here is how reality reflects the imaginary. Isn’t this just like our own model railways? It’s very easy to run trains if you connect two wires to the track and operate the points locally (though perhaps not with a finger). And it usually works. But a complex control panel is far more liable to go wrong.
The benefits of centralised control are very real – but so are the problems that go with them. And the casualty of this is not just the passenger – how about all those elegant signal boxes that have disappeared?