'Skirts' get trains on track

HEATED "skirts" are being used by rail bosses to remove tonnes of snow and compacted ice from the undercarriages of trains.

ScotRail said engineering staff had successfully used a wrapping technique, which is not thought to have been done before in the railway industry, to clear vehicles which had not been put into warm sheds.

Powerful pumps were then used to blow hot air under the "skirts" to warm up the underside of the trains.

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Kenny Scott, engineering director at ScotRail, said: "The sub-zero temperatures last week were so low that we have not been able to get enough trains into warm sheds to defrost. However, with the heated skirts we can effectively defrost them while outside a depot - which means trains are back in passenger service more quickly."