Autumn Leaf Fall – Train Information

Letter from SouthEastern Trains

Dear stakeholder,

Each year train operators amend their timetables to account for the autumn leaf fall season and this year ours takes effect from Sunday 4 October to Saturday 12 December

And as we did last year, we are looking to start certain services earlier and run them earlier until a key station en route, from where they will revert to booked time.

Although “leaves on the line” is sometimes derided as an excuse for late running, it is a serious problem for train operators as the combination of fallen leaves and rainfall produces a sticky mulch on the rails, equivalent to black ice on the roads. This increases the trains’ braking distance and for obvious safety reasons, drivers may have to reduce speed.

Network Rail has an extensive line side vegetation and tree felling programme but with many railway embankments being heavily wooded, with wildlife protection issues to consider and many trees overhanging the line being on private property, it’s a lengthy job and you’ll understand why we need to slightly revised journey times. So the times of some trains will change by a few minutes so if you are travelling between 4 October and 12 December, do check with us first as you may have to arrive at the station a few minutes earlier

If you would like more detail on Network Rail’s vegetation management programme, you can find out more on more on

I attach details of changes and if you have any comments could you please respond by close of business on Friday 24 July

I hope this is helpful.

Finally, I am on annual leave from 26 June to 6 July (inclusive) and if you have any queries during this period, pelase contact my colleague Ben Ward on telephone 0207 620 5430/5080.

Best wishes

Mike Gibson
Public Affairs Manager
Friars Bridge Court
41-45 Blackfriars Road

Tel: 0207 620 5430
Fax: 0207 620 5522
Mob: 07768 293 651


Southeastern is the trading name of London & South Eastern Railway Limited. London & South Eastern Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Govia Limited of which The Go-Ahead Group plc is a shareholder.

London & South Eastern Railway Limited is registered in England and Wales with company number 04860660, The Go-Ahead Group plc is registered in England and Wales with company number 2100855 and Govia Limited is registered in England and Wales with company number 3278419. The registered office for each of the aforementioned companies is situated at 3rd Floor, 41-51 Grey Street, Newcastle-upon-Tyne NE1 6EE.

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This blog is maintained by Cllr Kathy Bance MBE, Cllr Peter Fookes and Cllr Kevin Brooks, the Labour Party councillors for Penge & Cator ward on Bromley Council.
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