Saturday, May 12, 2007

Metro North Trains To Get New Bath Facilty

From Metro North "Mileposts" May 2007. It's an excellent newsletter put out by Metro-North, and there's usally a technical article or two in there which I really enjoy reading. There's no online edition (or at least I don't know there is) . This article talks about the new train wash facility at the Highbridge Car appearance facility in the Bronx.

Construction has commenced on a new, ecologically friendly automatic train wash
at our Highbridge Car Appearance Facility in the Bronx.

You may
remember reading about Highbridge when it opened in the spring of 2003. It's
really "two two,two" facilities in one. (Why Certs Used three "twos" is still a
mystery to us.

It's a train yard, built to replace the storage
tracks on the lower level of Grand Central that willl dissapear when East Side
Access, and the Long Island Rail Road come to the

Highbridge also houses a 67,000-square foot, two track
car appearance facility. Since it's opening, we can now E-clean 20 cars per
shift. (The "E" stands for "extrodinary", which is the type of cleaning
conducted every 60 days and includes scrubbing the car from top to bottom, and
power cleaning the vestibule and lavatory areas.)

In addition, we
are able to clean and service up to 72 cars in the yard every day. Also, the
seat and window replacement program for our whole fleet is based at this

Highbridge has enabled us to improve the cleanliness of
our train interiors. When this new train was is finished, it will make the
exteriors look better too.

And the 300-foot long building will do
so using recycled water and cleaning solutions. The only part of the trains bath
that uses clean water is the final rinse.

While "rocketing" through
the facility at a speed of three miles per hour (no one ever said cleanliness
was quick), each car will be sprayed with heated, recycled

Then suds will be applied while the car is scrubbed by a
series of vertical and slanted rotating, and counter rotating, brushes, and high
pressure sprayers.

A pre-rinse will use recylcled water, which will
be followed by a clean water rinse and a trip under a forceful blower to dry the
stainless steel car bodies.

Everyone's morning shower should be so

While the train wash will use 280 gallons of water per
minute, remember that 200 gallons of that will be reclaimed water. Only 80
gallons will be fresh water.

After each use, the water will go into
a neutralizing tank and then through several filters to remove solids and other
impurities. It will be recycled continually until the car washes holding tanks
reach capacity.

An 18-month, $11.2 million contract was awarded to
Calcedo Construction Corp. of Port Chester for the train wash, which will be
located at the south end of the yard.

The train wash, our third,
is scheduled to be in service by the end of 2008.