Greater Anglia and Network Rail are taking action to minimise disruption caused by leaves on the line.

The rail company is investing in new equipment in an effort to minimise disruption to rail passengers caused by slippery rails during autumn.

After a successful trial last year, the completion of a £500,000 project to fit special anti-slip wheel slide protection – like ABS in cars – to Greater Anglia’s Class 156 trains is underway and, the company says, should result in improved performance and more reliable services this autumn.

This is the first time such a system has been designed for Class 156 trains, which operate on rural lines in Essex.

Technology installed on the train judges whether its wheels are slowing evenly when the train brakes.

When they don’t brake evenly this can cause damage, requiring the train to be removed from service until the wheel is repaired.

Greater Anglia hopes that by installing WSP on its Class 156 trains – it is already installed on other types of train in its fleet – the number of rural services cancelled and trains removed from service due to wheel flats will be drastically reduced.

Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia’s managing director, said: “We are acutely aware of the frustration and inconvenience felt by our passengers when things go wrong, so we are pleased to be taking action in partnership with Network Rail, making additional preparations to protect train services during what is traditionally a difficult period on the railway.”