Wet Rails Prevent Train Delays

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Railway tracks pre-sprayed with water can prevent delay caused by falling leaves on the track, according to a report by the Telegraaf.

By pre-wetting the rails, leaves attach less to it, argues NS-driver Rene Slagter. Trains must drive slower in the fall to prevent bolting caused by the sticky leaves while braking. This results in too much time lost.

Tests show that Slagter is right: Leaves on wet rails dissolve in the water after a few trains have passed by.

Ingrid Thijssen, director of the traveling company of NS, embraces the idea. "We have supported the idea, have assisted financially and, together with Slagter, have applied for a patent.”

Rail manager  ProRail  is also excited, but stresses that the idea is still in its infancy. “It is still too early for a final verdict, but we will follow this initiative with great interest,” said a spokesman.