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Metro-North vs Autumn

St Louis Car 09

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Those pesky leaves!!!


Once again fall is upon us and we all know what happens when the leaves fall on the tracks,which is why the (MTA) is going postal on the number one cause for flat spots.Slippery rail.The (MTA) are using new machinery and tactics to curb the situation.Sorry guys I dont have the link,but the story is in todays Stamford advocate.Give some of your opinions.And metro-north operators give me some of your stories dealing with flat spots.

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Here's the link to the improvements that MNR is doing to prevent slip-slide conditions: http://www.mta.info/mnr/html/SlipperyRailforweb.pdf


In autumns past, you may have heard our train crews mention "slip-slide” to explain minor

service delays you may have recently experienced. This condition is created by a slimy

substance left by crushed leaves on our rails that gets even more slippery and slimy after it rains.

When a train attempts to speed up or slow down, this gelatinous “slime” can cause the wheels to

slip or slide along the rails. In severe cases the train will automatically make an emergency stop,

because the on-board computer system perceives “slip-sliding” as excessive speed.

All this slip-sliding and braking can create flat spots on the train’s wheels, forcing us to take much

needed equipment out of service to make repairs.

But thanks to our proactive approach, you’ve been experiencing slippery rail less frequently. This is

due to a number of changes we have enacted.

We’ve reprogrammed the software of our M7 fleet to allow the braking system to adjust to slip-slide

conditions. And we have instructed our engineers to report slippery conditions immediately to our

Operations Control Center. We have also trained them in how to operate through these “slippery” areas.

In addition, we have enhanced our computerized train-tracking system to allow for automatic

reporting of slip-slide incidents and conditions, enabling us to take corrective action more quickly.

One thing you will notice is that under extreme conditions, we now reduce speeds through problem

areas. While this may result in a slight delay to your service, it also prevents a greater delay because

of wheel damage. And no flat spots on train wheels also means we can operate at regular speeds in

non-problem areas.

Along with training and technology, we are also cleaning more — we use rail washers and scrubbers

more frequently to remove dead leaves from the tracks. And on-board “sanders” on our trains

automatically drop sand on our tracks to help improve traction and reduce wheel slippage when it

begins to occur.

Remember: We can reduce the incidents of slippery rail but we cannot eliminate them. We will

continue our efforts to try to minimize any delays and inconvenience slippery rail may create for you

this autumn. And, as always, we appreciate your patience…

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Do you have any pics?


Nah, i'm always with headphones on half asleep most of the time when i'm riding in the am these days. No $ this week to go up either. Will try next week w/ camera at the ready. Will also look at the other yard up near the airport. If windows dirty, out of luck.


- A

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