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Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 September, 2004, 10:05 GMT 11:05 UK
Sun visors to reduce train delays
Midland Mainline train
Train drivers will have shelter from extreme heat and humidity
An East Midlands rail operator is installing window blinds on trains to try and improve punctuality.

Midland Mainline says the relief from the heat and the sun will make services more reliable - despite the summer being one of the wettest ever.

New blinds are being fitted to the fleet's windows so the cabs will not get overheated.

The company, based in Derby says cooler cabs should mean trains can leave promptly whatever the weather.

Previously staff had been stringing up makeshift barriers in an effort to keep the sun off them.

"The inside of the cabs were having an effect like a greenhouse because they were surrounded by glass
Emma Knight, Midland Mainline
When the sun breaks through, the cabs get so hot that working conditions become intolerable.

Some trains have been delayed at stations while the cabs are cooled down.

Emma Knight from Midland Mainline said: "If a driver's cab is above a certain temperature then there is no way they can get in it.

"The inside of the cabs were having an effect like a greenhouse because they were surrounded by glass."

The material for the blinds has been shipped in from Italy and is specially designed to reflect the sun away from drivers.

The firm says it has introduced the sun visors to try and improve punctuality - even though it has been a very wet summer.

Steve Butcher, Derby driver manager said: "It's not just the sunshine it's the humidity, we've had a lot of rain followed by a lot of hot weather."

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