MTA LIRR President Philip Eng on the LaserTrain technology: it is paying for itself while reducing costs and improving safety and service.
Three full autumns have passed since the LaserTrain was first introduced on the network of MTA the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR). Not even a pandemic has stopped the desire to work together to increase the efficiency on the LIRR network. For the coming five years LIRR is leasing two LaserTrains and the results of the first year are promising.
In his monthly MTA board meeting, LIRR President Philip Eng looks back on a successful autumn: ‘on the LaserTrain technology: this innovation has reduced labour cost associated with wheel truing by 38.4% for a savings of a $102.000 compared to 2019. And less truing extends the wheels life, we estimate that for every year we gain, we save a half million dollar in shop material and labour costs. And we had 63% less delays due to low adhesion this fall when compared to last year and 79% less than before we had the laser technology in use. It is paying for itself while reducing costs and improving safety and service’
To achieve these, both LaserTrains made daily runs of up to 18 hours per day each. After the evening rush hour they would go out for a cleaning run of up to 12 hours after which a driver switch is necessary. This switch is done during the morning rush hour, which also provides the LPS team with a window to do maintenance on the vehicle. After the morning rush hour, the LaserTrain can run until the evening rush hour starts. This many cleaning hours per day allows the LaserTrain fleet to cover a lot of ground, around 2/3rd of the entire LIRR network daily. With a 24-hour cleaning effect in everything but the most dire circumstances, this keeps the track free from most severe slip-slide. The result: less maintenance, better punctuality and happier passengers.
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyJpz8lUdiw&t=6632s, MTA December Board Meeting