On Mon, 21 Dec 2009 07:41:21 -0500, "Frank A. Rosenbaum"
According to the original article it was electrical problems inside
the tunnel brought about by condensation It disn't say whether the
actual problem was inside or outside the tunnel. There were five
trains inside it when power was lost.
20 or more years ago there had been electric train failures when
motors had ingested snow through cooling fans, It was supposed to have
been fixed the following winter but they had even more failures due to
unusually fine, powdery snow.
When a reporter asked the BR spokesman why the fixes hadn't worked he
was told "it was the wrong kind of snow" - and the remark passed into
railway folk law.
Ironically a few years later something similar happened with brakes
slipping in the autumn due to the lubricant effect of wet ground up
leaves - which was fixed until next year.
Tread brakes didn't have the problem because the brake blocks scraped
the wheels clean. Newer units with disk brakes slipped. Somebody asked
the same BR spokesman if it was the wrong kind of leaves.
A radio report today said that problem was caused by snow getting in through
the air grills on the rear power car. When the train entered the tunnel, the
snow melted and caused condensation in the motors. This shorted the rear
power car causing the break downs. They are now retro fitting finer mesh on
the grills and should cure the problem.
The spokesman then added "Oink oink squeal snuffle squeak oink wings".
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