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Proactively Combating Slippery Rails

Autumn is here, a time many people enjoy. The change in season brings out the beauty of fall foliage and the stunning views they produce. But falling leaves can also cause problems for the railroad when they fall on the tracks and are crushed by the wheels of locomotives and railcars, producing an oily substance that causes slippery rails. This age-old problem affects railroads around the world.

In addition to causing you potential delays, slippery rail conditions can damage train wheels when they slip during acceleration or slide as brakes are applied. As a result, NJ TRANSIT proactively combats this condition to minimize any potential delays.

NJ TRANSIT deploys its secret weapons, which are two AquaTrack trains that utilize a high-pressure power-washing system, removing leaves and oily residue from the tracks to preventing "slippery rail" conditions. Using two Aqua Track trains allows the cleaning process to cover more tracks during the fall.

These highly specialized pieces of equipment also enhance safety and keep trains running on time. One AquaTrack Train operates on the M&E and Montclair-Boonton lines on weekdays which are particularly challenged around Glen Ridge and Summit stations. On weekends, it covers the Pascack Valley and Main/Bergen County lines. The second train runs along the Raritan Valley and North Jersey Coast lines.

The Aqua Track Trains have been a great asset, reducing NJ TRANSIT's slippery rail train delays, increasing service reliability and improving the customer experience.




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