Network Rail owns, operates and develops Britain’s railway – the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signal, level crossings and stations. The 18 largest stations are run by the company itself, while all the others, over 2,500, are run by one of the country’s train operating companies.
One of those stations run by Network Rail is London St Pancras International, the South Eastern High Speed Javelin and Eurostar trains make this station one of the busiest in Britain. High Speed 1 is the rail line between St Pancras International and the Channel Tunnel and connects with the international high-speed routes between London and Paris, and London and Brussels.
The five tracks in and out of St Pancras station have very complicated track geometry with tight radius curves causing problems with train noise. Local residents and the house boat marina at Kings Cross have long since complained about these noise issues, making it a priority for Network Rail to try and fix the problem.
Network Rail had been using a competitor grease in all of their lubricators in the St Pancras area for a few years. They contacted an RS Clare Engineer for some advice to see if trialling a different curved rail grease could make a difference. RS Clare recommended Claretech Supreme, their high performance biodegradable track lubricant which is fully approved for use within Network Rail and is used in the majority of their lubricators in their vast UK network.
The lubricators were emptied of the competitor grease and replaced by Claretech Supreme. Within a few days the grease was being carried around the curves on the gauge corner leaving a good protective coat of wet lubricant, protecting the track and confirming the lubrication equipment was working as it should.
In 2016 Network Rail had noticed that noise complaints from residents had significantly reduced and engineers made a decision to approve and continue to use Claretech Supreme as a solution to their noise complaints.