SEPTA: Falling Leaves Mean Slower Trains
Wet leaves on the tracks can inhibit braking, according to the transit agency.
SEPTA is letting its passengers know that its trains will run a bit more slowly to account for slippery tracks.
On the heels of its apology for recent service delays, the transit authority is getting out in front of possible delays and inconveniences, especially for rail, trolley and high-speed line riders in the coming weeks.
The culprit? Leaves, according to the press release attached to this article:
[Leaves] settle on SEPTA’s rails, where they are crushed by passing trains and leave behind a slick residue. This coating decreases friction between train wheels and the rails, creating Slippery Rail conditions.
In these situations, SEPTA trains run under speed restrictions to maintain safe operations.
Crews armed with high-pressure hoses attempt to keep things on schedule by power-washing the residue from tracks. But, according to the Slippery Rail page on SEPTA's website, some delays will be unavoidable until the season ends:
The length of slippery rail season depends on fall weather conditions and the quirks of Mother Nature. But until the weather turns frosty and all the leaves have fallen, SEPTA maintains a consistent program of cleaning and removal.
Read the full press release attached to this article as a PDF.