Northern is trialling new technology to blast leaves from train tracks.

Fallen leaves sticking to damp rails can disrupt services as they reduce trains' grip, but Northern's innovative 'rail head treatment technology' - Water-Trak - could eliminate this problem.

The device, fitted to passenger train undercarriages, sprays water onto detected leaf-laden tracks, creating rainy-day conditions that improve braking.

This could save the railway industry millions yearly by replacing expensive railhead treatment trains currently used to clean high-traffic lines.

Funded by Network Rail's Performance Innovation Fund, the trial will fit Water-Trak to five trains operating between cities including Liverpool, Wigan and Manchester.