Canvey Railway and Model Engineering Club.

The great thaw 2011

The snow and subsequent thaw of 2010 / 2011. This is our story in pictures with a few words how it happened.

The dyke
The dyke drainage pipe and first bend of the outer track.

The winter of 201011 was a weather event that brought heavy snowfalls, record low temperatures, travel chaos and school disruption to the islands of Great Britain and Ireland. It included the United Kingdom's coldest December since Met Office records began, with a mean temperature of -1 °C (30 °F), breaking the previous record of 0.1 °C (32.2 °F) in December 1981.

The inner loop towards the crossover
The top of the inner track after the crossover

The winter of 2010 in England saw the earliest widespread winter snowfall since 1993 with snow falling as early as 24 November across Northumberland and North Yorkshire. A maximum snow depth of 76 cm (30 in) was recorded on 1 December in the Peak District, Sheffield, Doncaster, the Cotswold Hills and the Forest of Dean. In this event Scotland and Northern England were most severely affected.

On the inner looking backwards towards the station
The bridge over the dyke and outer track

On 9 December temperatures recovered across much of the UK, causing a partial thaw. Later, on Thursday 16 December a cold front reintroduced a cold, arctic airstream. This cold spell brought further snow and ice chaos back to Ireland and Britain with Southern England , Wales , the Republic of Ireland (excluding the westerly coastal regions) and Northern Ireland bearing the brunt of the wintry conditions.

Looking back on the outer track towards the station
A view down the dyke towards the station and signal box

This led to severe disruption to the road and rail network with several airports being closed including London Heathrow Airport for a time. Several local temperature records were broken including a new record low for Northern Ireland of -18.7 °C (-1.7 °F) recorded at Castlederg on 23 December 2010.

About half way up the outer track next to the sports field
The station bypass and inner loop looking at the carrage shed
By the new year a thaw had begun, and there was no recurrence of the extreme conditions for the remainder of the winter. There was some snowfall in early January, and there was an anticyclonic spell at the end of the month that brought some cold, frosty days. February was above average in temperature and ended on a mild note, although the snow returned in much of Scotland during March.
Looking towards the bus stop with our backs to the carrage shed


The great thaw 2011