Moisture on the rail can mix with the film produced by 'leaves on the line' or other contaminants such as rust or grease, to cause low adhesion conditions. Industry works hard to manage and reduce loss of adhesion. While the level of low adhesion experienced in autumn is particularly severe, low adhesion can occur at any time of year and can result in significant disruptions to passenger journeys. In response to this adhesion challenge, we have developed a multi-faceted programme that encompasses fundamental research, tactical enhancements to existing solutions and opportunities to use novel solutions.
Onboard equipment and systems, such as sanders, are used by the industry to help manage and mitigate low adhesion conditions. Incremental improvements and new developments present opportunities to reduce delay minutes and associated costs that are incurred as a result of low adhesion.