Train operators prepare for slippery autumn ahead

Railhead Treatment Trains will be used throughout autumn

Railhead Treatment Trains (pictured) will cover over 49,700 miles from September 27 to December 17 to keep rails clear across Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, East London and Essex. - Credit: Network Rail

Greater Anglia and Network Rail are gearing up to tackle slippery rail conditions across the region including in Cambridgeshire this autumn in a bid to keep journeys on time. 

Figures show delay minutes due to slippery rails were down by 82 per cent compared to the previous year and there were 95pc fewer cancellations. 

Methods such as a wheel slip protection system (WSP) and disposing a small quantity of sand onto the rail to maintain grip will come into force, as leaves drop onto the railway. 

Martin Beable, engineering director at Greater Anglia, said: “Most trains are fitted with a WSP system.  

“This is the equivalent of the ABS system you have in your car and prevents trains from skidding which can damage their wheels.” 

Network Rail will also deploy six ‘leaf busting’ 24/7 railhead treatment trains covering over 49,700 miles from September 27 to December 17 to keep rails clear across Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, East London and Essex.  

Passengers are advised to check before they travel as Greater Anglia intercity trains leaving Norwich, Diss, Stowmarket, Ipswich, and Manningtree before 7.30am will depart up to five minutes earlier, Mondays to Fridays.  

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