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Important Information


Autumn leaf fall is difficult for the railway, and we know it’s a source of frustration for our customers, too.

The residue from fallen leaves covers the track with a hard, slippery coating, which makes acceleration problematic in some areas. Trains have to run at lower speeds, sometimes leading to delays and cancellations.

To keep disruption to a minimum, from Saturday 28 September, we're making some changes to the Chester line and Ellesmere Port line timetables. For new train timetables click here or use our Journey Planner.

Key Information

  • Trains from Chester and Ellesmere Port will depart earlier than currently timetabled and arrive in Liverpool later than currently timetabled.
  • Trains from Liverpool will depart at the same time as is currently timetabled, but arrive in Chester and Ellesmere Port later than currently timetabled.

Some of the other things we do to minimise disruption:

  • We use sophisticated technology to improve how we measure the slipperiness of rails, so that we can treat them more effectively.
  • We utilise localised weather forecasts to enable us to work out the volume of leaf fall, and plan accordingly.
  • We run a programme of leaf-clearing sessions in areas where we know leaf fall is heavy.
  • We run special trains throughout our network to jet-wash and clean the rails.
  • Our drivers are very skilled and are adapting the way they drive to suit the conditions of this challenging period.

We will work continually throughout the autumn, alongside Network Rail, to ensure any delays to our services are kept to a minimum.

For further information on our service disruption terminology, click  here.