Reduced Southeastern train timetable amid risk from 'leaves on the line'

Southeastern Railway will run a reduced timetable next week to cut the chance of accidents due to leaves on the line.

As autumn leaves begin to pile up on the ground, 50 million of them fall onto railway lines.

When mixed with rain and squashed by train wheels, they form a slippery layer on the rails like black ice on roads.

Many companies announced their autumn timetables at the end of September but Southeastern is bringing in a short-term amended autumn timetable during the "worst of the autumn weather" between 12 and 16 of November.

This means that some off-peak trains will call less frequently at 28 stations in greater London.

Among the places affected are Bexley, Deptford, Plumstead and West Dulwich.

Up to 6,000 passengers will be affected each day, according to the company.

Ellie Burrows, train services director for Southeastern said: "Driving conditions can be particularly difficult for our train drivers at this time of year and, just as we wouldn't ask someone to accelerate over black ice on the roads, leaves on the line pose the same danger on the railway.

"We can't risk the safety of passengers by driving trains at full speed when conditions are bad."

Passengers can check their journey on the Southeastern website or its mobile app, National Rail Enquiries or tweeting @Se_railway.