RECENTLY you carried an article in the Keighley News about leaves on the railway line and Northern fitting new technology to a number of its units to combat the problem. Technology called Water-Trak is being installed, initially to 16 of Northern's passenger trains on routes known to be worst affected by autumn conditions.

Currently, special units known as railhead treatment trains are used to clear leaves. But only a limited number exist. So, I thought readers might be interested in a picture of one of the current units operating locally. The train – photographed at Utley crossing one lunchtime – began its journey at York and ran via Harrogate to Leeds before covering the Aire Valley route to Hellifield, from where it then returned to York via the same route.

It is being worked in top-n-tail mode by a pair of Class 37 diesel-electric locomotives. The class are some of the oldest diesel-electric locomotives on the system and over the years have worked all manner of trains throughout the network. Originally 309 were produced between 1960-65. There are around 44 still in traffic, and a further 15 in store which may or may not run again.

It is rare to catch this working in the Aire Valley in daylight hours, which may have had something to do with the rail strike.

Terry Hanson, Cullingworth

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