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.
Like many rail companies, the Long Island Rail Road’s aim is to keep improving the safety and reliability of their passenger service through the Autumn months. Wheel slip and emergency braking was forcing them to take much needed equipment out of service for repairs. It was vital to address traction issues that cause poor acceleration, braking and maintenance.
During prototype testing, we demonstrated successful rail cleaning, delivering three times higher adhesion after one pass of the laser at 12mph (against a target of 9mph).
This convinced LIRR to commission us to produce an operational prototype, capable of working from a nonpassenger train at 25mph. Deployed for 12 hours a day in Autumn 2019 over extensive parts of the LIRR network prone to low adhesion. A reliability of 99% was achieved.
While the LaserTrain was only deployed on specific branches, it helped reduce slip-slide for the entire network by 17%. Compared with 2018, LIRR also reported:
LPS details its rail cleaning laser technology, helping rail networks to improve track conditions and minimise impacts of severe weather.
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