Now train operators are blaming the wrong kind of SUNLIGHT for the rail chaos

Now train operators are blaming the wrong kind of SUNLIGHT for rail chaos in the latest of a long line of excuses

  • Train operators have blamed the wrong kind of sunlight for the chaos on the track
  • Figures showed Network Rail paid millions to operators in compensation
  • Claims included that train companies blamed it for the sun’s glare on signal equipment impairing drivers’ vision










We’ve long endured a litany of excuses for the chaos on the trail, including the wrong kind of leaves, snow, and wind.

In addition to the natural phenomena that train drivers can’t handle, they’ve blamed the wrong kind of sunlight.

It comes as numbers showed that Network Rail paid millions to operators in compensation. Claims included that train companies blamed it for the sun’s glare on signal equipment impairing drivers’ vision.

We’ve long endured a litany of excuses for the chaos on the trail, including the wrong kind of leaves, snow, and wind. Now, adding to the natural phenomena that train drivers can’t handle, they’ve blamed the wrong kind of sunlight (stock image)

The problem has disrupted 4,206 services in the past three years, the figures show. In total, there were 358 hours – nearly 15 days – of delays, in addition to 130 shifts canceled because it was too bright to see equipment.

The biggest problems caused by sunlight on signals were in Birmingham New Street, where 152 trains were delayed and nine were canceled in February 2019.

The costs are not given for individual cases but are included in the compensation to operators for unplanned disruption – £258 million in 2018/19 and £60 million in 2019/20. Last year’s total is not yet available.

Operators are liable for problems in trains or stations, Network Rail for everything else. Network Rail said it shows why plans to reform the system this year are needed.

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