MTA Metro-North Railroad, is a suburban commuter rail service run by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority(MTA), a public authority of the U.S. State of New York and under contract with the Connecticut Department of Transportation.

Pilot Overview

Metro-North’s passenger design “Comet III” is the is the first ever LaserTrain worldwide deployed at 60 mph during service hours. During a ground breaking 7-week pilot from October 12th to December 6th, 2022, the LaserTrain safely cleaned over 12,000 miles and achieved significant milestones, including a 40% reduction in slip-slide incidents, resulting in $1.6M in savings for the railroad, and achieving a 97% on-time performance (OTP). Additionally, Metro North observed its lowest wheel truing needs in seven years and earned the prestigious APTA Gold Award for Rail Safety.

The MTA board approved a two-year base plus a one-year optional contract extension. Metro North opted for the Backup Maintenance & Support package, empowering their own staff to handle LaserTrain maintenance while LPS staff oversee remote monitoring.

Gaining Momentum

Moving into slip-slide season 2023, our aim was to continue to reduce downtime and improve overall efficiency. The LaserTrain maintained uninterrupted operation for a consecutive two-month period, running 18 hours a day, showing extensive machine reliability and endurance. This continuous operation directly translated to tangible outcomes, as Metro North observed the lowest slip-slide related delay minutes ever recorded.

Enhanced Rail Cleaning Efficiency

The LaserTrain has demonstrated excellent performance. By covering an average of 367 miles per day, it cleaned more than 55% of the rail network used by the M7 fleet every 24 hours, ensuring thorough and consistent rail cleaning. Miles driven doubled from 11,000 in 2022 to 23,000 in 2023, with miles cleaned tripling from 5,800 to 18,000. Notably, November's OTP reached 97.1%, exceeding target by 3.1%! Moreover, we have seen a 66% reduction in slip-slide events, a 70% decrease in train delays and a substantial 62% saving in wheel value during maintenance, enhancing safety and operational efficiency.

To ensure minimal disruption to operations we had to focus on improving the machine reliability and refining the GIS (Geographical Information Set) Target Area. To boost to machine reliability, we implemented advanced sensors and enhanced laser optics, resulting in the LaserTrain achieving a commendable 96% reliability rate in 2023. Control software updates and a collaboration with Metro North's GIS team provided a significant improvement in the GIS target area, averaging at 79% in 2023. (+21% from 2022)

Overall, the success of the LaserTrain underscores the importance of investing in advanced rail cleaning solutions. Join us as we lead the way for a smarter, cleaner railway network.

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