East Coast Transit Agencies Perfecting Method of Dealing with Pectin on the Rails

"We’re able to use the laser train even past freezing conditions when we have to actually sit the waterworld down,” Scholes said. “Therefore, we're able to operate it over greater environmental conditions and we're able to cover a lot more ground with it and do the entire network in a single day, whereas with waterworld, we're only operating at about 12 mph."

MTA Metro-North Railroad Receives Top Awards in Safety and Emergency Management From American Public Transportation Association

Metro-North was selected as a Gold Award winner for Rail Safety for its use of laser technology to remove residue caused by crushed leaves.

Metro-North to expand use of lasers to combat leaf-fall on rails

The contract follows a successful pilot program conducted in fall 2022, following Long Island Rail Road's (LIRR) use of the technology.

Space-age laser and plasma train trials zap autumn leaves off the line

“This technology could potentially reduce the need for that water and the fuel needed to transport it around the country, benefiting both the environment and costing the taxpayer less.”

Metro-North to use ‘laser train’ to clear slimy autumn debris from tracks

“This is a technology…that was pioneered by the Long Island Rail Road in 2018, and is poised to become an important part of Metro North’s efforts to combat leaf season slip slide and flat wheels.”

MTA announces best LIRR On-Time Performance in modern history

“An aggressive leaf fighting strategy has reduced “slip-sliding” where emergency braking creates flat spots on train wheels, forcing the LIRR to take much-needed equipment out of service for repairs.”‍

How the LIRR combats an astonishingly annoying problem: Fallen leaves

“These trains have proved so efficient, we added a second laser train last year and increased its speed, allowing us to cover more territory more quickly. The initiative has yielded major year-over-year improvements in service while ultimately paying for itself through reduced labor and material costs.”

LIRR's Leaf-fighting technology cleans six times more track resulting in fewer delays and cost savings

“Our investment in the laser train technology is already paying off for our customers who have encountered fewer delays and are seeing more train cars in service, allowing them to practice social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

LIRR's leaf-fighting technology gets stronger and faster

“We have already seen this past month, with several days of misty mornings, nearly zero slip-slide events and estimate that we prevented 60 to 100 cars being taken out of service. We know we cannot control Mother Nature but we can take steps to better prepare and mitigate the impacts. Having these laser trains in our toolbox is a gamechanger.”

Choo choo, pew pew: How a New York Railroad uses scorching lasers to stay on schedule

“Though the LIRR and LPS have only the one laser train in operation, the railroad now considers it to be the most effective weapon in its arsenal against seasonal delays. Furthermore, it calls lasers “a game-changer for the Long Island Rail Road, and a game-changer for the industry.”


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