Department of Transport has spent £8m on 24 schemes to make rail network greener and more efficient

The expensive disruption that autumn “leaf fall” spells for Britain’s railways could be a thing of the past if government-funded trials prove an inventor’s theory: that adding more water will make the tracks less slippy.

The project to fit trains with devices to spray tracks is one of 24 innovative schemes backed with almost £8m of Department for Transport (DfT) funding to make the rail industry more efficient, greener and cleaner.

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