As the leaves that create the fall season's colorful landscape shed from trees, SEPTA is taking steps to maximize your 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.
Getting you to your destination without delays or inconvenience is very important, but ensuring that your trip is safe, always takes precedence. So please allow some extra time to complete your trip and be alert if slippery rail causes trains to slide past selected stations. You should also follow your line on Twittter. We have dedicated feeds for the Norristown High Speed Line, as well as every Regional Rail and Trolley Line.
Other tips include checking System Status from your computer or your mobile device for updates to service and visiting the Regional Rail Service Improvement Program microsite for information on improvements and changes to our Regional Rail Operations.