HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) — While Tri-State area residents are enjoying the fall foliage, Metro-North Railroad is warning its riders of potential delays caused by wet leaves.
The railroad said leaves that fall onto tracks become crushed and release an oily substance known as pectin, which it refers to as “slime.”
Metro-North said the slime can cause a train’s wheels to slip or slide while speeding up or slowing down.
Railroad officials warned minor delays should be expected because trains will need to reduce speeds in problem areas under extreme “slip-slide” conditions.
Engineers have been told to report slippery conditions immediately, officials said.
The railroad said it uses rail washers and scrubbers to remove crushed leaf residue from the tracks.
Metro-North is also improving its computerized train-tracking system to allow for automatic real-time reporting of slip-slide incidents and conditions with the expectation it will translate to faster improvements.
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