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Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 October, 2004, 10:44 GMT 11:44 UK
Rail firm tackles slippery leaves
Trains on some routes will leave five minutes early
A train operator is issuing a revised autumn timetable to allow its drivers to cope with leaves on the tracks.

Last year commuters across the UK were delayed for a total of 3,000 minutes as a result of leaves

Central Trains is altering its timetable on some lines in the East and West Midlands and its Norwich-to-Liverpool route.

Trains will leave five minutes early for the next five weeks, Central Train spokesman Gerald Burgess said.

'Frustrating delays'

He said leaves on the line produce an oily sludge when crushed - and can create black-ice conditions.

The rail industry spends millions of pounds a year to deal with the problem of leaves on the tracks.

The companies just can't stick to their own timetables and it is so frustrating
Train passenger

"We want to build in five minutes into the timetable between Crewe, Derby, Nottingham and Skegness to allow the trains to start off more slowly and slow down earlier for stations and signals.

"This year we are building in time to allow drivers to slow down.

Altered timetables are also being issued for Central Train's Liverpool-to-Norwich and Wellington-to-Walsall services.

Posters will be displayed at stations affected by the changes and on the firm's website.

One traveller said: "This is just another example of the train companies manipulating timetables to their own ends.

"The companies just can't stick to their own timetables and it is so frustrating."

But another passenger told BBC Radio Derby: "It is a good thing - I think if you are told the train will be five minutes late then you will glad to know."

Leaves on line row gathers speed
25 Aug 04  |  Scotland
Lasers tackle leaves on the line
20 Oct 03  |  Hereford/Worcs
Leaf timetable for trains
14 Oct 03  |  Hereford/Worcs

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