Riding the East Anglian RHTT Train
Riding the East Anglian RHTT Train - 'Cab ride on a Network Rail Class 57/3 on water cannon duty'
Every year during the autumn a series of trains operate around the UK aimed at combating the effect of wet leaves on the rail head. Often referred to as ‘water cannon’ trains or ‘leafbusters’, various loco-hauled sets and MPVs have the task of keeping the rails clear by spraying them with a high pressure blast of water or a layer of adhesion modifier.
The DRS operated depot at Stowmarket in East Anglia is one of the most important on the system during the leaf-fall season and is the base of four loco-hauled sets, running on a 24-hour basis. As well as keeping the all-important Norwich to London Liverpool Street main line clean, nearly all the secondary and branch lines in Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk are also treated. For 2012, Class 57s were based at Stowmarket with six DRS Class 57/0s supplemented by three Network Rail 57/3s.
This is a cab ride on what is known as the East Suffolk rail head treatment train, filmed on a fine autumn day in October 2012. Running in top and tail mode, yellow liveried 57306 and 57310 provide the power on a circular out-and-back journey.
From Stowmarket, the train heads to Ipswich and then along the scenic East Suffolk line to Lowestoft, then Norwich and to Cromer. Highlights of the journey include passing over the swing bridges at Oulton Broad, Somerleyton and Reedham and this was also the final week of RETB signalling on the East Suffolk line which was filmed in the cab.
Filmed in 16:9 widescreen with the full assistance of DRS, the view from the front cab is supplemented by a special ‘thrash’ cam in the back cab, recording the loco hard at work. Includes maps, part-narration and on-screen captions pointing out open and closed stations, signal boxes, junctions and other lineside buildings and features.