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Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority Serving Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties

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Heavy-Duty Equipment Combats Fallen Leaves

Anyone who rides the Norristown High Speed Line, Trolley, and Regional Rail knows all about slippery rails season, when the beautiful autumn leaves that fall from trees along the tracks create an ugly coating that decreases the friction of a train's wheels and causes slippery track conditions.

As part of an aggressive maintenance program on Regional Rail lines, between October and the beginning of December, a trio of trains is dispatched to remove the slick deposits from the track. The trains, each operated by teams of four crew members, leave during the middle of each night from the Overbrook and Wayne Junction yards and consist of a lead diesel locomotive, a control car, a 17,000 gallon water tank and a high-pressure washer. At 10,000 pounds per square inch, the high-pressure washer equipment quickly blast away and removes the leaves and leaf residue from the tracks.

The tracks are also cleaned several times a week using traction adhesion gel, sand and an assortment of washers and track scrubbers. The success of this maintenance program has aided tremendously in trimming the number of slippery rail train delays.

Slippery Rail Customer Information at stations

This high-powered pressure washer is an important and effective tool in clearing leaves and their residue from the rails