NJ Transit uses Aquatrack to clean its rails
This fall will see New Jersey Transit deploy a track-cleaning device, AquaTrack, once again.
NJ Transit Spokesman Jim Smith said autumn leaves leave an oily residue on tracks this time of year — "what we call 'slippery rail' prevents the trains from getting up to full speed. And this can cause delays."
When the trins roll over leaves, they get pulverized — leaving the residue behind. But Smith said using AquaTrack diesel-powered engines on a flat bed rail car, "the operator can utilize these two pressure pumps units to dispense water, up to 20,000 pounds per square inch, directly on top of the rail."
The process uses 17 gallons of water per minute.
NJ Transit has been using AquaTrack since 2003, and this year has added a second cleaning car to the effort.
The original AquaTrack operated primarily on the Morris and Essex and Montclair-Boonton lines, which face particular challenges including the hilly areas around Glen Ridge and Summit stations — washing the rails twice a day Monday through Friday, once overnight and again during midday hours. On weekends, the Pascack Valley and Main/Bergen County lines are usually covered. The addition of a second unit in 2016 added cleaning on the Raritan Valley and North Jersey Coast Lines.
Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5