MTA Metro-North Railroad in New York has decided to enter a contract with US-based engineering company Ensco to design, build, and deliver an advanced track-inspection vehicle.
It will be equipped with laser, optical, and inertial sensor systems, which would help it to assess the condition of rail and track infrastructure, warning Metro-North of any irregularity.
Known as the Track Geometry Vehicle, the new inspection car will be powered by diesel and equipped with modern machinery, specially designed by Ensco.
Metro-North Railroad’s president Joseph Giulietti said: "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.
"The MTA’s Blue Ribbon Panel the Federal Railroad Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board determined that the acquisition of a Track Geometry Vehicle would enable Metro-North to improve track inspections.
"This cutting-edge vehicle will significantly contribute to Metro-North’s intense focus on ensuring customer safety."
The machinery can be used to measure track geometry, gauge, cross-level, alignment, surface, twist, speed, and warp (a comparative measure of rail-to-rail profile over a given distance) at one-foot intervals to regulatory standards.
Metro-North Railroad’s engineering vice president Glen Hayden said: "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."