MTA Metro-North Railroad announced that it will enter into a contract with Ensco Inc. to design, build and deliver one of the most advanced track inspection vehicles in the world. The vehicle will use innovative laser, optical and inertial sensor systems to analyze the condition of the rail and track infrastructure, alerting Metro-North to any track anomalies.
The inspection vehicle, known within the railroad industry as a Track Geometry Vehicle, will be a diesel powered rail car filled with advanced machinery specifically designed by Ensco Inc. to inspect Metro-North tracks. It measures track geometry, gage (the distance between the rails), alignment, cross-level, surface, alignment, speed, twist and warp (a comparative measure of rail to rail profile over a given distance) at one-foot intervals to regulatory standards.
“This vehicle will further enhance our efforts to identify any potential track problems so they can be repaired before becoming safety issues and affecting service,” said Joseph Giulietti, President of Metro-North Railroad. “The MTA’s Blue Ribbon Panel, the Federal Railroad Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board all determined that the acquisition of a Track Geometry Vehicle would enable Metro-North to improve track inspections. This cutting-edge inspection vehicle will significantly contribute to Metro-North’s intense focus on ensuring customer safety.”
Metro-North has previously relied on third party contractors to operate their inspection vehicles on tracks during off hours and provide the railroad with data feedback.
“The Track Geometry Vehicle now gives Metro-North in-house inspection capability; the railroad can examine track and make necessary repairs with greater speed and efficiency, resulting in cost savings,” said Glen Hayden, Vice President - Engineering for Metro-North Railroad. “It will allow Metro-North to inspect track to meet Federal requirements as well as to verify quality of track production efforts.”
Metro-North’s new inspection vehicle will undergo a period of calibration and testing before it’s entered into service in early 2018.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is North America's largest transportation network, serving a population of 15.2 million people in the 5,000-square-mile area fanning out from New York City through Long Island, southeastern New York State, and Connecticut