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Rail News: Passenger Rail

NJ Transit implements pressure-washing system to avoid slippery tracks


New Jersey Transit recently began operating Aqua Track, a $420,000 high-pressure washing system designed to clear fallen leaves and subsequent oily residue from tracks to avoid slippery conditions and train delays this autumn.

The system includes two 250-horsepower, diesel-engine units mounted on a flat car with an operator control cab. Two pressure pumps release water at a rate of 20,000 pound per square inch and 17 gallons per minute.

NJ Transit plans to operate the machine primarily on the Morris and Essex lines, which have steep grades.

The agency will supplement the washer with sand trains, which NJ Transit will run before peak periods to increase traction. Officials also have started a tree-trimming program along right of way to reduce the number of fallen leaves and prevent branches from interfering with overhead wires.

Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority recently began using a similar system.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/27/2003