New Jersey Transit
Home > NJ TRANSIT News > News Releases


NJ TRANSIT today unveiled its latest weapon in the fight to keep trains running on schedule despite Mother Nature’s wrath.

Aqua Track, a $420,000 high-pressure washing system, will keep the tracks clear of fallen leaves and oily residue that typically create rail wheel-slip conditions during autumn often resulting in train delays. The high-pressure rail washing system includes two 250-horsepower diesel-engine units mounted on a flat car with an operator control cab. Two pressure pump units operate up to 20,000 pounds-per-square-inch at 17 gallons per minute.

“Aqua Track is a key component of our aggressive plan to combat wheel-slip conditions this fall,” said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director George D. Warrington. “After witnessing a very powerful demonstration, I remain optimistic about its effectiveness.”

The machine will operate primarily on the Morris & Essex Lines, where the combination of falling leaves and the 1.5 percent grade at Summit Hill and 1.3 percent grade at Glen Ridge have historically conspired to delay trains.

To supplement the high-pressure washer, NJ TRANSIT will run sand trains ahead of peak-period trains to increase traction. Also, the Corporation has implemented an extensive tree-trimming program along the right-of-way to eliminate leaves and prevent branches from interfering with the overhead wires during winter storms.

Slippery-rail condition is a chronic railroad age-old problem, experienced by transit companies in the United States and overseas.

Aqua Track will begin cleaning the rails for the first time later today.

NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing bus, rail and light rail services for 752,600 daily trips on 238 bus routes, two light rail lines and 11 commuter rail lines. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 162 rail stations, 28 light rail stations and more than 17,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.