Seasonal track treatment and weather support fleet

Specialist machines help our engineers to keep the railway running whatever the weather.

The effects of weather are a challenge for Britain's railway, and weather conditions can severely impact the day-to-day running of train services.

Rain can result in flooding and damage infrastructure such as bridges, lineside equipment and the track, for example – or lead to landslips – while rail can buckle and overhead lines sag in summer heat. Autumn leaf fall causes operational problems for the signalling system and reduces trains' grip, which can change the ability of a train to start from a station, accelerate and climb hills or stop at stations or signals.

When difficult weather conditions mean trains can’t safely run to the normal timetable, such as if flood water rises above tracks or when ice prevents points working, then some train services are cancelled and speed restrictions are put in place.

Our engineers and contractors maintain, repair and improve our rail infrastructure around the clock in all weathers to make it possible for trains to run. To help them tackle the challenges, come rain or shine, and keep the railway resilient, our seasonal track treatment machines and vehicles are ready and waiting.

How we forecast weather

Click on the dropdown menus below to see videos, pictures and find out about the vehicles and equipment that allow trains to keep moving at all times of year.


You can read more about how we keep the railway going in winter on our Delays Explained pages.

Keeping trains moving in snow and ice