Helium balloons blamed for train delays

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Image copyright Network Rail

Helium-filled balloons have actually been blamed for triggering numerous train hold-ups for travelers throughout the UK each year.

Network Rail wishes to highlight what it states is a growing issue.

The rail facilities company has actually tape-recorded 619 balloon-related events – numerous harmful – throughout England, Scotland and Wales in the previous year.

Many occurrences include balloons getting twisted in high-voltage overhead wires , triggering hold-ups while the electrical energy is turned off and the lines ensured.

“If you’re on a train station platform with a foil balloon filled with helium on a string and it can be found in contact with the overhead wires bring 25,000 volts, that might trigger big injury or death,” stated James Dean, primary running officer for Network Rail’s London North Western path.

“Ideally, we ‘d ask individuals not to bring balloons into our stations at all. Bring them in bags so the danger of them drifting upwards is reduced.”

As well as the security dangers and the hold-ups to train travelers, Network Rail states the yearly expense of this issue to the British taxpayer is around £ 1m a year.

Balloon artists

The most current occurrence occurred today at Smethwick Rolfe Street Station, in the West Midlands, when a float-away helium balloon got twisted around the overhead wires.

Hundreds of train guests were postponed, and the expense of hold-ups from this occurrence was £ 5,000.

Balloon artists have actually signed up with Network Rail’s security project.

Trade body The National Association of Balloon Artists and Suppliers (Nabas) has actually released a project to prohibit the release of foil balloons, sky lanterns or anything with plastic string or ribbons connected.

Nabas chief George Oustayiannis stated: “Balloons bring enjoyable and colour and a sense of event to any occasion, however please get rid of them properly, and never ever launch balloons into the environment. Regard the environment and avoid unneeded threat and hold-ups – please do not release.”

Earlier today Network Rail alerted that cable television theft from train devices had actually triggered 950 hours of hold-ups in 2018, throughout more than 7,000 journeys in England, Wales and Scotland.

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