1. ITV Report

Greater Anglia invest £500,000 to stop leaves from delaying trains

An engineer working on the new 'wheel slide protection' Credit: ITV News Anglia

Greater Anglia and Network Rail are working together in order to minimise disruption caused by leaves falling onto the tracks.

£500,000 has been invested to implement 'wheel slide protection' which acts similar to ABS in cars.

Wheels on trains often get damaged due to leaves falling onto the tracks Credit: ITV News Anglia

Autumn is traditionally a difficult time for the railways, bringing wet weather and falling leaves which can make the rails slippery. The leaves create mulch that sticks to the track which gets compressed and hardened by train wheels into a Teflon-like layer.

It's not just the new 'wheel slide protection' that will help with dealing with the leaves either. Greater Anglia have put lots of different practices in place.

  • Trains will depart for London five minutes earlier than normal during morning peak times from 9th October to 8th December to help maintain arrival times.
  • Trains on regional routes in Norfolk and Suffolk will undergo modifications to improve automatic sanders (helps stop train wheels from slipping)
  • All trains have been fitted with a monitoring system that reports where trains experience slipping
  • Network Rail will continue to clear vegetation and apply a sand like substance to tracks to improve grip
  • Additional slots booked in wheel lathe locations to fix trains quickly

As a result of all of these methods it is hoped that it will result in improved performance and more reliable services this autumn.

More slots for the wheel lathe will be made available to repair train wheels quicker Credit: ITV News Anglia

We are acutely aware of the frustration and inconvenience felt by our passengers when things go wrong, so we are pleased to be taking action in partnership with Network Rail, making additional preparations to protect train services during what is traditionally a difficult period on the railway.

– Jamie Burles - Greater Anglia Managing Director