Railtrack, who are responsible for the tracks, stations and platforms, said leaves have been "bigger and juicier" this autumn, which has led to longer delays to services. The company said the problem had been particularly bad in the Midlands and they issued a joint apology with Central Trains. A Railtrack spokeswoman said, "There were 30% to 40% more leaves on trees this season and they were 20% bigger and juicier, which caused delays on tracks." The company is also trialling a new anti-leaf train and has promised to buy 25 of the vehicles if the tests are successful.
Some of the excuses that have been used include:
- Leaves on the line.
- The wrong type of snow.
- It rained hard for three months.
- A broken down Virgin ahead.
- The sun reflecting off the rails.
- An increase in vandalism.
- An increase in track and station repairs.
- There are too many people on trains.
Rail bosses have come up with a slick solution to their leaves on the line problem, hair gel. A special mix of gel and grit is being sprayed on tracks to keep trains running smoothly. Anglia Railways said after blasting leaves off lines with powerful water jets they were now using the gel coating to give extra traction. The only trouble is that rain washes the gel away. It seems that at every turn British Rail are thwarted by freaks of nature!
Copied from http://www.derbygripe.co.uk/trains.htm