Greater Anglia is hoping to give “leaves on the line” disruption the slip this autumn by fitting special wheel protection on some of its trains.
The operator, working together with Network Rail, has fitted special anti-slip “Wheel Slide Protection” (WSP) technology on its class 156 trains, which include services running between Ipswich and Cambridge/Peterborough.
WSP works in a similar way to ABS braking in cars.
Greater Anglia hope the £500k project will be its biggest weapon in its annual fight against “leaves on the line”.
WSP is already installed on other types of trains in Greater Anglia’s fleet but this is the first time such a system has been designed for this type of train.
Technology installed on the train judges whether its wheels are slowing evenly when the train brakes. When the wheels do not brake evenly this can cause damage known as a ‘wheel flat’, requiring the train to be removed from service until the wheel is repaired on a lathe.
Greater Anglia hopes that by installing WSP on its class 156 trains, the number of rural services cancelled and trains removed from service due to wheel flats will be drastically reduced.