Translink gear up for Autumn leaves and possible delays

Lurgan Train Station.
Lurgan Train Station.

Commuters travelling on trains may have disruptions due to falling leaves, say Translink.

Each year at this time there are delays and in some cases, cancellations of trains due to the lines being slippery.

Translink NI Railways says it is working hard to minimise disruption caused by leaf fall.

In a statement they said: “Leaves which fall on the railway compress under the weight of trains, making the tracks slippery. This means trains need to accelerate and brake gently and our drivers undergo training in how to deal with adverse weather conditions.”

Richard Knox, Head of Rail Service Operations, NI Railways said: “We have teams working hard day and night to combat these conditions, to keep our services running smoothly. We have a special Multi-Purpose Vehicle, (MPV) engineering train, which cleans the tracks with a high pressure water jet, before applying a layer of sand to improve grip.

“We invest heavily each year keeping our 210 miles of tracks clear during leaf fall season. This includes the purchase of 70,000 litres of Sandite”.

Richard continued: “Tackling low adhesion caused by leaf fall is just one part of our autumn and winter weather programme. Additional measures include a programme of vegetation clearance to keep tracksides clear and points heaters come on during low temperatures to prevent them from freezing.

“We provide information leaflets and posters for our customers and our social media channels provide useful service updates”.

In conclusion, Richard said: “We would like to assure our customers that we are doing all we can to keep services running on time and keep any delays to a minimum. We would urge passengers to check our social media channels, the Translink Journey Planner App and for up to date travel information.