Nexus have today revealed that the recent delays to Metro services have been down to falling leaves.
In autumn, delays of Metro services are more frequent than in any other season, and Nexus have today moved to address passenger complaints by clarifying the term “low rail adhesion”.
Their explanation for the problem, released in a company statement today says: “When leaves fall on to the line, particularly in damp or wet weather, the rolling action of passing wheels compresses them, causing a greasy mulch to cover the top of the rail”.
“This mulch is to rails what ice is to roads. It reduces the adhesion, or ‘co-efficient of friction’ to use the technical term, between the steel train wheels and the rails. Acceleration must be reduced to prevent the wheel from slipping, and braking distances extended.
“Because of their lightweight construction and rapid acceleration, Metrocars are particularly susceptible to LRA conditions.”
In January the company invested £100,000 in cutting trackside vegetation, in an effort to reduce the number of incidents this autumn and winter, and is offering inexperienced drivers more training on how to deal with adverse conditions.
Nexus and passengers alike will be hoping to avoid a repeat of autumn 2013, which saw the company face criticism for regular delays over low rail adhesion.