Train delays and cancellations caused by leaves on the line could soon be a thing of the past under multi-million-pound plans to tackle weather-related disruption.

ScotRail is proposing to spend £160 million to help make the network more robust against soaring temperatures, heavy rainfall - and fallen leaves.

The move - funded by a £500m boost to Network Rail’s Scottish budget - will see a record number of trees cut down along tracks to help drive up punctuality rates.

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ScotRail boss Alex Hynes said: “We are facing more extreme weather in Scotland, which is why Network Rail is investing more money than ever to make the railway more resilient.

“We are also cutting back trees and vegetation to stop it from interfering with overhead wires, falling onto the tracks, and blocking train drivers’ view of signals - which causes disruption and puts safety at risk - and we’re learning lessons from abroad on coping with very hot weather.

“We’re also putting in better drainage, installing lightning protection for signalling systems and stabilising our embankments.”

The plans will be implemented by the ScotRail Alliance, a partnership of all firms and agencies responsible for Scotland’s trains, including the Dutch-owned operator Abellio and Network Rail.