• How the Commuter Rail plans to fight Autumn delays


    BOSTON - Keolis says a new track washer will cut down on delays this Fall. 

    As leaves fall and then are crushed under trains and matted down with rain, the Commuter Rail gets bogged down with 'slippery rail' delays. 

    MORE: Commuter Rail extends $10 weekends through the fall

    According to Keolis, this happens when trains lose traction on the rails because of the ground-up, wet leaves. The condition can be dangerous for trains, which is why crews work to clean the rails constantly during the autumn, when slippery rail is most concerning. 

    But a new, $750,000 high-powered rail pressure washer will be able to clean the rails faster and, hopefully, keep Commuter Rail trains running on time through the Fall. 

    “Together with the MBTA, Keolis teams have made improvements to reliability during slippery rail season. We prepare months in advance of the fall and have a plan in place that strengthens our approach to this seasonal challenge,” said David Scorey, CEO and General Manager, Keolis. “We have made significant investments to update equipment, helping us to remove debris more efficiently and effectively than ever before on commuter rail.”

    After the rails are pressure washed, a gel and sand solution is applied to help improve train traction. Keolis is also working on a plan to monitor and trim overgrowth in problematic areas. 

    MORE: MBTA details stations, facilities needing significant repairs

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