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ScotRail announces £13m investment to combat autumn weather

ScotRail is investing over £13m in order to combat autumn conditions this year and prevent delays.

ScotRail Alliance’s new autumn campaign will see a fleet of specialist trains deployed to clear debris and spray lines with a glue-like coating, covering an average of 1,500 miles a day from early October until late November.

The autumn season often sees trees alongside the railways drop thousands of tonnes of leaves onto the tracks and debris can also affect signalling systems, making it hard to track trains on the network.

Debris and slippery surfaces can cause significant disruption to train timetables as train drivers must brake earlier and accelerate more gently, making journeys slower.

‘Leaf fall’ maintenance staff teams, increased staff at depots and control centres, and an increased programme to remove lineside trees and vegetation will be seen across the campaign.

Infrastructure director for the ScotRail Alliance David Dickson called the two month plan a “huge operation” that will “treat tracks and keep trains running on time.”

He said: “Throughout the autumn, our teams will be work through the day and night to keep our infrastructure clear and the tracks safe.

“We know few things annoy customers more than when their train is delayed because of leaves on the line, but the reality is that leaves can be dangerous and lead to disruption.”

ScotRail outlined extensive winter weather plans last December as Scotland prepared to be hit by Storm Caroline. 

Despite this and plans from companies, rail delays hit a 12-year high according to the ORR’s new report last week, largely down to severe weather in February and March.

Scottish Borders Council released a statement last month blaming the winter weather for a 22% rise in complaints last year.

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 Image credit - aleksle 


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