Monday 8 Dec 2003


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Network Rail today revealed that delays down to autumnal weather had been reduced 27% by the industry this year. Network Rail, in close co-ordination with the train operators, undertook unprecedented preparations this year in its annual battle against the elements. The biggest fleet of ‘leaf busting’ trains, some 62 in all, have been in action over the autumn period tackling the railways equivalent of black ice on the roads. Hundreds of employees have also been out before dawn each day tackling and treating known problems areas using the latest, best technology to mitigate Mother Nature’s effects. The train operators have also played their part with specialist driver training and on train sanders helping trains to keep a grip. Iain Coucher, Deputy Chief Executive said, “Network Rail, and the industry as a whole, has had a good autumn.  Attention to detail, thorough planning and close co-operation with the train operators has paid dividends with the best autumnal performance for many years. My thanks go to all the people who worked so hard to make such a difference.” In 2000 autumnal weather (leaf-fall and other related weather delays) caused 1,374,586 minutes of delay. In 2001 the delays had fallen to 913,855.  Last year, 2002, saw a jump to 1,177,375. This autumn has seen a 27% reduction on last year to 855,390.

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