TransPennine Express’ plan to combat ‘leaves on the line’

Thursday 13th October 2016
From Monday 24 October 2016 TransPennine Express (TPE) will be changing the times of a few of its services as part of its autumn train plan.

As we all know, during autumn, fallen leaves cause very challenging driving conditions for trains. The leaves are pressed on to the tracks, creating a Teflon-like coating which causes the lines to become slippery in a similar way to black ice on the roads.

These problems affect all types of trains and sometimes slow the whole network down, even if our own services are coping well with the conditions. TPE’s modern trains are fitted with devices that spray sand onto the tracks to increase their grip, however sometimes; they still have to run at lower speeds, which can lead to delays and cancellations.

The temporary plan will be in place from Monday to Friday between 24 October and 10 December 2016 and customers are asked to check before they travel and plan their journey accordingly.

The changes will affect trains on the North route covering services across the Pennines and into Middlesbrough, Hull and Scarborough.

TPE Operations Director, Paul Watson said: 

“We’ve taken the opportunity to slightly amend our timetable this autumn in order to make sure our service is as reliable as possible for customers.

“It may sound like a joke – leaves causing a problem for our huge and heavy trains but the residue created by squashed leaves leads to very difficult driving conditions which can affect the way we operate, much like driving on black ice and we all know how tricky that can be. This is why some of our trains have to slow down. Ensuring customers arrive safely to their destination is our first priority even if this means they may be a few minutes late in some cases.

“To try and minimise the impact these conditions have on our services we have slightly amended our train plan in some areas that we know are hotspots for us. I would encourage regular customers to check their journeys prior to the 24 October to ensure that they have the correct train times.”

Everyone can check their journey in advance using the National Rail Enquiries website or our free Journey Checker

A summary of all the changes can be found online:

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