Leaves on the line – this will make you smile! ….

Posted on October 25th, 2009, by The Chairman

One of the drivers told me yesterday he had “shouted at ISS” last week!

ISS are Northern Rail’s contractors who maintain the unstaffed stations. Apparently, as he arrived slowly into Navigation Road taking care to prevent his train from slipping, ISS were on the platform using a blower to blow all the leaves off the platform …. onto the line!

When he asked the operative what he was doing, he said he was blowing the leaves off the platform so the passengers wouldn’t slip on them.

What can you say? Polite responses only!

Please leave a comment

  1. Derek Jones Says:

    I was walking the River Weaver on Friday and I saw a track cleaning train on the Northwich Viaduct. I assume this is what picks the leaves up. What exactly does it do and who runs it?

    Your story perhaps identifies a problem on our railways that one half of the organisation doesn’t talk to the other.

  2. The Chairman Says:

    Hi, Derek!

    The train, known as a Rail Head Treatment Train (RHTT), in the case of our line blasts cold water at high pressure of around 1000 bar onto the rail head, blasting the black compacted leaves which act like a Teflon-like substance off the rail head.

    These trains are run for Network Rail. In our case the train is operated by DB Schenker (EWS, as was) and based at Wigan Springs Branch. It runs every afternoon except Saturdays until the leaf fall season ends.

    Best wishes,


  3. Charley Ashbury Says:

    Trying to keep this clean….but wouldn’t it make more sense (for the machine) to suck them into a bag/container, rather than blow them around, and then take them off elsewhere to mulch, perhaps for the flower displays/containers?

  4. The Chairman Says:

    Hi, Charles!

    It’s a bit of a “no brainer” for ISS, this!

    I was in the South East of England a few weeks ago and watched a member of staff carefully sweep up the litter from around the seats on a staffed station, then sweep the whole lot onto the tracks. And it’s not as if he did know I was there! It does make you wonder sometimes.


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