Fallen leaves really can disrupt rail services - not just here in Britain, but all over Europe and North America. The scale of the leaf-fall problem and the cost of keeping services running smoothly is huge:
It is impossible to predict exactly when the leaf fall season will start and how long it will last, but the weather can provide a guide to its likely onset and how serious it is likely to be for the railway.
A severe leaf fall season often follows a wet summer. It starts with a hard frost, followed by a high wind and a period of dry weather, which causes large amounts of leaves to fall over a short period of time.
But traditionally, autumn is the season of mists and mellow weather, which spreads leaf fall over a longer period and reduces the severity of the problem.
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