As the leaves that create the fall season’s colorful landscape shed from trees, SEPTA is taking steps to maximize customer safety and minimize inconveniences during “Slippery Rail” season.
By mid-autumn Slippery Rail season is in full swing as falling leaves land on SEPTA’s rails where they are crushed by passing trains and leave behind a slick residue. This coating decreases friction between train wheels and the rails, thus creating Slippery Rail conditions. As a secondary precaution, SEPTA may need to place trains under speed restrictions in an effort to maintain safe operations. Unfortunately, this can lead to delays and other inconveniences for passengers, particularly those who utilize Regional Rail, Trolleys and the Norristown High Speed Line.
SEPTA takes a proactive approach to battling Slippery Rail season to try to minimize the impact to passengers. During this time of year, crews are actively dispatched along the tracks with high-pressure washing equipment to blast away leaves and the slick residue they bring to rails. Oily deposits are cleaned with a combination of water, gel and sand.
In addition to cleaning the rails, SEPTA utilizes all communications resources at its disposal to keep customers informed about Slippery Rail conditions and possible service disruptions. Notices explaining the slippery rail battle are posted on rail cars and at stations. Whenever service is impacted, public announcements will be made as soon as information is available.
Passengers can find all Slippery Rail and other travel advisories on SEPTA’s website, www.septa.org and on SEPTA’s twitter page. SEPTA will also notify local news media outlets about all Slippery Rail-related service disruptions. Customers can also contact SEPTA Customer Service representatives by phone at (215) 580-7800.