The idea of leaves on the line causing delays and cancellations is sometimes met with amusement, and more than a little frustration.
But rail companies say the problem can be as dangerous as black ice on our roads.
So what is the problem?
- Leaves are swept onto the track by wind or passing trains.
- After rain falls, the trains crush the leaves under great pressure
- The compressed leaves stick to the rails, causing trains to slip, as well as damaging their wheels.
- Left unchecked, this wear and tear can damage the tracks too.
At Arriva Trains Wales' huge Canton rail depot, Ryan Williams explains what the consequences can be.
So far this season, 35 trains in the fleet have suffered damage to their steel tyres.
At the depot, a giant lathe is used to 'skim' the metal off the tyre to remove any burrs and indentations.
Train driver Gareth Derry knows the problem all too well.
"There's no bigger challenge for us than the autumn season" he says.
He accepts that the knock on effects from poor weather are inevitable, but says the safety of passengers is "a core principle".
- Below: A railhead treatment train sprays water onto the tops of tracks under high pressure to clean them
So what else can be done to limit the problem in the first place?
Network Rail's Chris Pearce and his team are working hard cutting back trees and vegetation along a stretch of the line near Whitchurch, Cardiff.
They specialise in making sure the rail infrastructure is safe and efficient, whatever the weather may bring.
He says collaboration between his organisation and train operators in tackling the problems associated with autumn and poor weather have improved.
Train companies say they are better prepared than ever to anticipate and tackle the problems bad weather and environmental conditions can cause.
That's not necessarily great comfort to passengers facing delays and disruption, but operators stress that their safety is ultimately the priority.
- Watch the Wales at Six report below:
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