Leaf Busting for Network Rail

Living Magazines Network Rail leaf fall locomotive

Four specialist trains are working 24 hours a day to blast leaves off the line and keep passengers and freight moving.

Up and down the West Coast and Chiltern main lines and across the West Midlands the four leaf-buster trains will cover 25,000 thousand miles this autumn as they tackle the widely-mocked problem of leaves on the line.

The reality of leaves on the line is no joke: they get flattened onto the rails by trains creating a Teflon-like, slippery coating which limits trains’ ability to accelerate or brake, rather like cars driving on black ice.

That’s why Network Rail, working with train operators, has developed an autumnal plan to regularly treat the rails.

Across the West Midlands and on the West Coast main line and Chiltern main line, more than 10 million litres of leaf-busting water will be used over the next 10 weeks.

The treatment trains will cover the West Midlands area and the West Coast main line to London Euston and Chiltern main line to London Marylebone, running until the beginning of December.

Alan Riley, customer services director, Chiltern Railways, said: “Leaf fall can cause problems for our infrastructure so we work very closely with Network Rail to minimise disruption for our customers. We also have very minor changes to our timetable, as this means drivers have a much better chance of keeping to time because of potentially slippery conditions. Please remember to check our website for any changes: www.chilternrailways.co.uk.”

For all travel information visit www.nationalrail.co.uk.