Metro-North is now using "industry-leading laser trains." For a good reason.

Metro-North confirmed officials will be using new laser technology to help keep tracks clear this fall and help cut down on delays.

Metro-North To Use Lasers To Clean Tracks In New York


Metro-North is using laser trains to help get rid of leaves covered in residue which can cause "slip, slide and flat wheels." These leaves also cause train delays.

"The laser train will become an important part of Metro-North’s efforts to combat leaf-season’s slip-slide and flat wheels. As autumn sets in and leaves fall from the trees, detritus of wet leaves and slimy pectin residue build up on the railway tracks," Metro-North President Catherine Rinaldi said.

Laser trains work by using high-intensity lasers to remove debris. Officials say a laser train needs just "one pass to leave a smooth, clean rail."


"For the first time, Metro-North will be using laser cleaning technology to remove slippery pectin residue on rails caused by falling leaves. Laser cleaning will reduce slip-slide conditions that are normal during the fall season and improve overall service reliability and equipment availability," the MTA states.

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Laser Technology Started In Long Island, New York

This laser technology was pioneered by the Long Island Railroad to battle slip-slide conditions on the rails that come with fallen leaves.

"To combat these conditions, industry-leading laser trains will be operating on tracks to vaporize the slippery substance left behind by leaves and we will be utilizing high-pressure water trains to 'power wash' the rails. This necessary maintenance work ensures trains can run on time and service remains reliable," the LIRR states.

Metro-North To Use Lasers At Higher Speeds


Metro-North hopes to improve the LIRR’s laser train innovation by piloting it at higher speeds.

"While both railroads share the fundamental mission and commitment to improving customer service, never has collaboration between the two sister railroads been more pronounced. Operations teams are sharing ideas and learning from each other in unprecedented ways," Rinaldi adds. It’s two railroads both solving the same problem
for maximum customer benefit."

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