Can fall foliage be dangerous for trains?
HARTFORD (AP) – Not all autumn landscapes in New England are scenes of beauty.
Metro-North Railroad is warning commuters of delays due to wet leaves. The commuter rail line says leaves that fall on the rails become crushed and produce an oily substance known as pectin, which can cause wheels to slip or slide as a train speeds up or slows down.
Metro-North says trains will reduce speeds in problem areas under extreme “slip-slide” conditions, causing minor delays due to what Metro-North calls “slime.”
The rail line Instructs engineers to report slippery conditions immediately.
It’s also enhancing the computerized train-tracking system to allow for automatic real-time reporting of slip-slide incidents and conditions that will result in quick improvements.
Metro-North also says it uses rail washers and scrubbers to remove crushed leaf reside from the tracks.