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What are the consequences of autumn weather?

Extreme weather conditions can affect rail travel. For example, a fallen tree may damage overhead lines, or fallen leaves can cause slipperiness. This can have consequences for passengers.

Slippery tracks

Fallen leaves, moisture and rust can cause slipperiness on the tracks. As a result, the wheels of the trains have less grip on the rails. This means that drivers need to take more time to brake and accelerate. For passengers, this may mean that departure and arrival times change by a few minutes in the autumn.

Square wheels

Slippery tracks can cause the wheels on trains to lock. This causes them to wear unevenly, resulting in so-called 'square' wheels. This does not just cause a thumping noise, but can also damage the train and the rails. ProRail has made a video about the causes and consequences of slipperiness on the tracks and posted it on YouTube.

Trees on the track

Stormy autumn weather can cause trees to fall and branches to break off. These can land on railway tracks or on overhead lines, preventing trains from running on the affected routes.