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Last updated:Today at 20:37
Train companies affected:CrossCountry, LNER, Lumo, TransPennine Express

Leaf Fall Timetable Changes – Autumn 2023

There are millions of trees on and next to the railway in Britain and, every autumn, thousands of tonnes of leaves fall onto the tracks. Windy conditions can cause heavy leaf-fall in a short space of time and rain means they are more likely to stick to the rails. When trains pass over leaves, the heat and weight of the trains bake them into a thin, slippery layer on the rail. This is equivalent to black ice on the roads.

How are trains affected?

Slippery rails make it hard for trains to accelerate and brake effectively. Safety is our priority, so when this happens, drivers have to pull out of stations more slowly and brake much earlier for stations and signals to make sure they stop in time. This can lead to longer journey times and delays. 

Autumn timetables

In areas with very heavy leaf-fall some train operators publish special autumn timetables with revised journey timings. These timetables allow extra time for train drivers to drive more cautiously than at other times of the year, so that they can get passengers to where they need to go safely and reliably. Leaf-fall timetables operate from Monday 9 October until Saturday 9 December (unless stated otherwise below).

The following leaf-fall timetable changes have been announced for Autumn 2023:

Avanti West Coast

No timetable changes will be required this Autumn.

c2c

No timetable changes will be required this Autumn.

Caledonian Sleeper

No timetable changes will be required this Autumn.

Chiltern Railways

From Monday 2 October 2023 until Sunday 7 January 2024, southbound trains will leave Aylesbury Vale Parkway or Aylesbury approximately three minutes earlier than normal.

This is due to a leaf-fall speed restriction slowing down trains between Amersham and Rickmansworth (southbound only, into London). As all trains have to be running on time when they reach Rickmansworth, to fit in with the London Underground Metropolitan line timetable, Chiltern Railways have to set off earlier than normal from their origin station.

CrossCountry 

No timetable changes will be required this Autumn.

East Midlands Railway

No timetable changes will be required this Autumn.

Elizabeth line

No timetable changes will be required this Autumn.

Gatwick Express

No timetable changes will be required this Autumn.

Grand Central

No timetable changes will be required this Autumn.

Great Northern

No timetable changes will be required this Autumn.

Great Western Railway (GWR)

No timetable changes will be required this Autumn.

Greater Anglia

The following weekday services are retimed Monday 9 October 2023 onwards:

  • 05:05 Norwich – London Liverpool Street will depart at 05:00

  • 05.30 Norwich – London Liverpool Street will depart at 05:25

  • 06:04 Norwich – London Liverpool Street will depart at 06:00

  • 06:28 Norwich – London Liverpool Street will depart at 06:26

  • 07:05 Norwich – London Liverpool Street will depart at 07:03.

Heathrow Express

No timetable changes will be required this Autumn.

Hull Trains

No leaf-fall timetable changes have been announced.

Island Line

No timetable changes will be required this Autumn.

London North Eastern Railway (LNER)

No leaf-fall timetable changes have been announced.

London Northwestern Railway

No leaf-fall timetable changes have been announced.

London Overground

No train departure time changes will be made this Autumn, although some trains will arrive at their destination 2-3 minutes later than normal.

Lumo

No timetable changes will be required this Autumn.

Merseyrail

From Monday 9 October onwards, journey times during Autumn on the Ellesmere Port and Chester lines will be extended by up to 4 minutes.

Northern

Leaf-fall timetables will be in place on the following routes this autumn:

  • Newcastle – Carlisle

  • Manchester – Clitheroe

  • Manchester Piccadilly – Buxton

  • Sheffield – Huddersfield

There will also be changes to the following routes that coincide with leaf-fall dates:

  • Calder Valley (due to engineering work in connection with the Transpennine Route Upgrade)

  • Manchester – Wigan and beyond (due to the opening of Headbolt Lane station)

ScotRail

No leaf-fall timetable changes have been announced.

South Western Railway

Changes to trains on the following routes will be made from Sunday 8 October onwards:

Weymouth / Bournemouth - London Waterloo:

Monday to Saturday: The first three trains to Weymouth will depart 5 minutes earlier from London.

Monday to Saturday: The first three trains from Weymouth will depart 5 minutes earlier.

Daily: Some other early morning trains may be retimed for all or part of their route.


Alton - London Waterloo:

Monday to Friday: 05:42 Alton to London Waterloo runs 3 minutes earlier between Alton and Woking.

Saturday: 06:14 Alton to London Waterloo runs 2 minutes earlier between Alton and Woking.


Basingstoke - London Waterloo:

Monday to Saturday: 04:54 Basingstoke to London Waterloo runs 3 minutes earlier between Basingstoke and Woking.


Portsmouth - London Waterloo:

Daily: A small number of early morning trains towards London will be re-timed.


West of England - London Waterloo:

Daily: A small number of early morning trains towards London will be re-timed.


Shepperton - London Waterloo:

Daily: Trains will arrive 2 minutes later at Shepperton.


Dorking - London Waterloo:

Daily: Trains from London will arrive 2 minutes later at Dorking. Trains towards London will be re-timed.


Guildford - London Waterloo:

Daily: Trains from London will arrive 3 minutes later at Guildford. Trains towards London will be re-timed.


Reading - London Waterloo:

Daily: Trains will be re-timed, and will arrive up to 3 minutes later at Reading.


Windsor & Eton Riverside - London Waterloo:

Daily: Trains from London will be re-timed, and will arrive up to 3 minutes later at Reading. Trains from Windsor will start 2 minutes earlier, but will run normal times from Staines.


Farnham - London Waterloo:

Monday to Friday: Trains will run 3 minutes earlier than normal from Farnham to Virginia Water.

Southeastern

The following changes to trains will be made from Monday 9 October onwards:

Weekdays (please scroll down for Saturday changes)

Hastings Line:

  • 05:00 Tonbridge to Tunbridge Wells starts 04:57 and runs 3 minutes earlier throughout

  • 05:17 Tunbridge Wells to Charing Cross starts 05:14 and runs 3 minutes earlier to Sevenoaks

  • 05:20 Tonbridge to Tunbridge Wells starts 05:17 and runs 3 minutes earlier throughout

  • 05:37 Tunbridge Wells to London Cannon Street starts 05:34 and runs 3 minutes earlier to Sevenoaks

  • 06:15 Hastings to London Charing Cross starts 06:12 runs 3 minutes earlier to Tonbridge

  • 17:08 London Charing Cross to Hastings runs 2 minutes later from Wadhurst

  • 17:26 London Cannon Street to Hastings runs 3 minutes later from Wadhurst

  • 17:38 London Charing Cross to Hastings runs 3 minutes later from Wadhurst

  • 17:56 London Cannon Street to Hastings runs 3 minutes later from Wadhurst

  • 18:26 London Cannon Street to Hastings runs 2 minutes later from Wadhurst

  • 19:08 London Charing Cross to Hastings runs 3 minutes later from Wadhurst

Maidstone East Line:

  • 05:05 Ashford to London Victoria starts 05:02 and runs 3 minutes earlier to Swanley

  • 05:27 Ashford to London Victoria starts 05:24 and runs 3 minutes earlier to Otford

  • 05:55 Ashford to London Victoria starts 05:53 and runs 2 minutes earlier to Otford

  • 06:16 Maidstone East to Ashford runs 2 minutes earlier throughout

  • 06:26 Ashford to London Victoria runs 2 minutes earlier Charing to Otford

  • 06:55 Ashford to London Victoria starts at 06:52 and runs 3 minutes earlier to Otford

  • 17:25 London Victoria to Ashford runs 2 minutes later from Maidstone East

  • 17:55 London Victoria to Ashford runs 2 minutes later from Maidstone East

Canterbury East Line:

  • 05:46 Dover to London Victoria starts at 05:43 and runs 3 minutes earlier to Faversham

  • 05:26 Faversham to Dover starts at 05:23 and runs 4 minutes earlier to Kearsney

  • 06:14 Dover to London Cannon Street starts 06:11 and runs 3 minutes earlier to Swanley

  • 06:46 Dover to London Victoria starts at 06:43 and runs 3 minutes earlier to Sittingbourne

  • 16:10 London Victoria to Dover runs 3 minutes later from Faversham

  • 17:10 London Victoria to Dover runs 2 minutes later from Faversham

  • 18:10 London Victoria to Dover runs 3 minutes later from Faversham

Canterbury West Line:

  • 04:54 Ramsgate to London St Pancras Int’l starts 04:51 and runs 3 minutes earlier to Ashford

  • 05:35 Ramsgate to London Charing Cross starts 05:32 and runs 3 minutes earlier to Paddock Wood

  • 05:40 Margate to London St Pancras Int’l starts 05:37 and runs 3 minutes earlier to Ashford

  • 06:15 Margate to London St Pancras Int’l starts 06:12 and runs 3 minutes earlier to Ashford

  • 06:07 Ramsgate to London Charing Cross starts 06:04 and runs 3 minutes earlier to Paddock Wood

  • 06: 38 Ramsgate to London Charing Cross starts 06:35 and runs 3 minutes earlier to Tonbridge

  • 06:44 Margate to London St Pancras International starts at 06:41 and runs 3 minutes earlier to Ashford

  • 07:15 Margate to London St Pancras International starts at 07:12 and runs 3 minutes earlier to Ashford

  • 16:37 London St Pancras International to Margate runs 3 minutes later from Canterbury West

  • 17:29 London Charing Cross to Ramsgate runs 3 minutes later from Canterbury West

  • 17:50 London St Pancras International to Margate runs 3 minutes later from Canterbury West

  • 18:37 London St Pancras International to Margate runs 3 minutes later from Canterbury West

  • 18:29 London Charing Cross to Ramsgate runs 3 minutes later from Canterbury West

Chatham Main Line:

  • 04:25 Ramsgate to London Victoria starts at 04:22 and runs 3 minutes earlier to Swanley

  • 05:00 Gillingham to London Victoria starts at 04:57 and runs 3 minutes earlier to Swanley

  • 05:00 Faversham to London St Pancras International starts at 04:57 and runs 3 minutes earlier to Ebbsfleet

  • 05:15 Ramsgate to London Victoria starts at 05:12 and runs 3 minutes earlier to Swanley

  • 05:11 Broadstairs to London St Pancras International starts at 05:08 and runs 3 minutes earlier to Gravesend

  • 06:18 Ramsgate to London Victoria start 06:15 and runs 3 minutes earlier to Rainham

  • 06:14 Broadstairs to London St Pancras International starts at 06:11 and runs 3 minutes earler to Strood

  • 16:10 London Victoria to Ramsgate runs 3 minutes later from Faversham

  • 16:40 London Victoria to Ramsgate runs 3 minutes later from Faversham

  • 17:16 London St Pancras International to Ramsgate runs 2 minutes later from Faversham

  • 17:46 London St Pancras International to Margate runs 3 minutes later from Faversham

  • 17:14 London Cannon Street to Ramsgate runs 3 minutes later from Faversham

  • 17:16 London St Pancras International to Ramsgate runs 3 minutes later from Faversham

  • 18:14 London Cannon Street to Ramsgate runs 3 minutes later from Faversham

  • 18:40 London Victoria to Ramsgate runs 2 minutes later from Faversham

Dover Line:

  • 04:30 Dover to London Cannon Street starts 04:27 and runs 3 minutes earlier to Sevenoaks

  • 04:50 Ramsgate to London Charing Cross starts 04:47 and runs 3 minutes earlier to Sevenoaks

  • 05:30 Ashford to London Charing Cross start 05:27 and runs 3 minutes earlier to Sevenoaks

  • 05:50 Sandwich to London St Pancras International starts 05:47 and runs 3 minutes earlier to Ashford

  • 06:02 Ramsgate to London St Pancras International starts at 06:00 and runs 2 minutes earlier to Ashford

  • 06:22 Faversham to London St Pancras International via Deal starts 06:19 and runs 3 minutes earlier to Ashford

  • 06:28 Dover to London Cannon Street starts 06:25 and run 3 minutes earlier to Paddock Wood

  • 06:49 Sandwich to London St Pancras International starts 06:46 and runs 3 minutes earlier to Ashford

  • 07:00 Dover to London Charing Cross starts 06:57 and run 3 minutes earlier to Tonbridge

  • 07:14 Ashford to London Cannon Street starts 07:12 and runs 2 minutes earlier to Tonbridge

  • 17:07 London St Pancras International to Ramsgate runs 3 minutes later from Dover Priory

  • 17:59 London Charing Cross to Ramsgate runs 3 minutes later from Dover Priory

  • 18:07 London St Pancras International to Ramsgate runs 3 minutes later from Dover Priory

Sheerness Branch:

  • 05:53 Sittingbourne to Sheerness starts at 05:50 and runs 3 minutes earlier throughout

  • 0623 Sittingbourne to Sheerness starts at 06:20 and runs 3 minutes earlier throughout

  • 06:47 Sheerness to Sittingbourne starts at 06:44 and runs 3 minutes earlier throughout

  • 06:52 Sittingbourne to Sheerness starts at 06:49 and runs 3 minutes earlier throughout

Saturdays

Maidstone East Line:

  • 05:05 Ashford to London Victoria starts 05:02 and runs 3 minutes earlier to Otford

  • 05:55 Ashford to London Victoria starts 05:52 and runs 3 minutes earlier to Otford

  • 06:16 Maidstone East to Ashford runs 3 minutes earlier throughout

  • 06:55 Ashford to London Victoria starts 06:52 and runs 3 minutes earlier to Otford

Canterbury East Line:

  • 05:42 London Victoria to Dover runs 3 minutes earlier from Gillingham to Kearsney

  • 06:01 Gillingham to Dover starts 05:57 and runs 4 minutes earlier to Kearsney

  • 06:18 Dover to London Victoria starts 06:15 and runs 3 minutes earlier to Rainham

Canterbury West Line:

  • 05:02 Ramsgate to London St Pancras International starts 04:59 and runs 3 minutes earlier to Ashford

  • 05:50 Margate to London St Pancras International starts 05:47 and runs 3 minutes earlier to Ashford

  • 06:12 Ramsgate to London Charing Cross starts 06:09 and runs 3 minutes earlier to Sevenoaks

  • 06:50 Margate to London St Pancras International starts 06:47 and runs 3 minutes earlier to Ashford

Chatham Main Line:

  • 04:57 Gillingham to London Victoria starts 05:00 and runs 3 minutes earlier to Swanley

  • 05:52 Ramsgate to London Victoria starts 05:49 and run 3 minutes earlier to Swanley

  • 06:00 Faversham to London St Pancras International starts at 05:57 and runs 3 minues earlier to Ebbsfleet

  • 06:20 Ramsgate to London St Pancras International starts at 06:17 and runs 3 minutes earlier to Rainham

  • 06:52 Ramsgate to London Victoria starts 06:49 and run 3 minutes earlier to Swanley

Dover Line:

  • 04:58 Dover Priory to London Charing Cross starts 04:55 and runs 3 minutes earlier to Sevenoaks

  • 05:58 Dover Priory to London Charing Cross starts 05:55 and runs 3 minutes earlier to Sevenoaks

  • 06:07 Ramsgate to London St Pancras International starts at 06 04 and runs 3 minutes earlier to Ashford

  • 07:00 Dover Priory to London Charing Cross starts 06:07 and runs 3 minutes earlier to Sevenoaks

  • 07:07 Ramsgate to London St Pancras International starts at 07:04 and runs 3 minutes earlier to Ashford

Southern

No timetable changes will be required this Autumn.

Stansted Express

No timetable changes will be required this Autumn.

Thameslink

No timetable changes will be required this Autumn.

TransPennine Express

No timetable changes will be required this Autumn.

Transport for Wales

The following changes will be made:

Weekdays

  • 10:35 Cardiff Central – Pontypridd will depart at 10:31

  • 11:49 Pontypridd – Cardiff Central will run via Ninian Park instead of Cardiff Queen Street.

 

Saturdays

  • 08:00 Cardiff Central – Bargoed will not run

  • 09:00 Bargoed – Penarth will not run

  • 10:02 Penarth – Cardiff Central will not run.

West Midlands Railway

No leaf-fall timetable changes have been announced.