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De-icing duties

This article was closed on 25 March 2004

The Network Rail de-icing DEMU is formed using two motor coaches coupled to either end of a de-icing car. This centre trailer — painted orange & grey — deposits an antifreeze liquid onto the 3rd rail to prevent ice forming and causing loss of traction-current collection. The de-icing DEMU was placed on standby from 25 January 2004; for its first working, in the small hours of Wednesday 28 January, both motor coaches were in fact HDL’s: 60116 Mountfield and 60000 Hastings.

Following 1001’s re-formation for passenger duties the next day, for ease of shunting movements in the depot, Network Rail’s 977939 replaced Hastings. At 0200 on Thursday morning the de-icer was out in use again, running via Hastings to Tonbridge and Redhill, return. It was spotted during daylight hours on Saturday 29 January (see photo below), at Tonbridge station.

Although the deicing season continued until around 22 March 2004, no further DEMU-operated de-icing missions involved any of HDL’s green vehicles.

[PHOTO: train in sunny, snowy station platform: 78kB]

The Network Rail de-icing train, incorporating a snow-dusted motor-coach Mountfield, is seen in the down bay platform at Tonbridge on 29 January 2004. Photo by Colin Price.