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Rail News: Maintenance Of Way

NJ Transit rolls out 'AquaTrack' units to remove leaves on rails

The agency has been using the AquaTrack system since 2003.
Photo – NJ Transit

New Jersey Transit has begun deploying its two "AquaTrack" machines to help remove fallen leaves and oily residue on tracks, the agency announced Wednesday.

Each high-pressure power-washing system consists of two 250-horsepower diesel-engine units mounted on a flat car with an operator control cab. Two pressure-pump then units dispense water at up to 20,000 pounds per square inch directly to the top of rail.

The process uses 17 gallons of water per minute. The agency has used the system since October 2003, NJ transit officials said in a press release

The original AquaTrack unit operated primarily on the Montclair-Boonton and Morristown & Erie lines. The machine washed the rails twice a day Monday through Friday. On weekends, the machine was deployed on the Pascack Valley and Main-Bergen County lines.

Last year, the agency unveiled its second AquaTrack unit to allow for a larger coverage area to help prevent delays.

The addition of the second AquaTrack unit enabled NJ Transit to clean the Raritan Valley and North Jersey Coast lines.

In addition to deploying the AquaTrack units, the agency spreads sand on the rails in front of peak-period trains to increase traction. The leaf clearing operation runs from mid-October through mid-December.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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