The Long Island Rail Road is a commuter rail system in the southeastern part of New York, USA, stretching from Manhattan to the eastern tip of Suffolk County on Long Island. It is the busiest commuter railroad in North America and one of the world’s few commuter systems that runs 24/7 year-round.
The LIRR Forward Plan was initiated in 2018 to address all train delays caused by matters within the railroad’s control. The LPS LaserTrain was deployed as part of an aggressive leaf-fighting strategy aiming to reduce slip-sliding and flat spots on train wheels.
Continuing to improve on success in 2020, the LIRR added a second 25mph LaserTrain and increased the running speed to cover more of the network daily. Both LaserTrains operated up to 18 hours per day, cleaning 2/3rds of the network. To minimize slip-sliding, all vital parts were cleaned every 24 hours.
Treatment was effective, with 88% less slipping trains after 12 hours, and instances that did occur were mainly on sections that were not cleaned by the LaserTrain.
Compared to 2019, LIRR reported:
Less wheel truing results in longer wheel life. The LIRR have calculated that for each year of extended life, $500,000 in shop labor and materials costs will be saved.
In 2021, The LIRR announced their best annual on-time performance (OTP) since modern record-keeping began in the 1970s, with 96.3% of trains operating to schedule over the course of the year.
“The initiative has yielded major year-over-year improvements in service while ultimately paying for itself through reduced labour and material costs.”
Railway-News magazine Issue 3, 2023: Autumn-Proof Your Railways: Introducing LPS LaserTrain.
Railway-News magazine Issue 1, February 2023: LPS - Keeping the World on Track.
LPS details its rail cleaning laser technology, helping rail networks to improve track conditions and minimise impacts of severe weather.
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