Train Monitoring System Planned for Metro-North Railroad

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Metro-North announced plans to install a new system that would detect defective or overheated wheels and loads of freight trains.
Metro-North announced plans to install a new system that would detect defective or overheated wheels and loads of freight trains. Photo Credit: File

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Metro-North Railroad has announced plans for a train-monitoring system that would detect defective or overheated wheels and loads of freight trains that operate on publicly owned tracks.

The equipment, known as a Train Fault Detector System, consists of three components, a wheel impact detector that recognizes flat spots and other wheel defects, a “hot box” detector that assures that all the roller bearings around the axles are rolling properly and not overheating, and a tag reader that identifies individual freight cars.

“This specialized equipment will improve safety and reduce wear and tear on our tracks,”  Thomas F. Prendergast, chairman and chief executive officer of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, parent agency of the railroad said in a statement. “They are intended to identify faults before they cause problems.”

Metro-North will ask its parent company, the MTA, to implement a a Request for Proposal rather than a simple low-bid contract.

Metro-North intends to install the instrumentation just east of Green’s Farms Station on the New Haven Line and just south of Scarborough on the Hudson Line.

These installations are in addition to fault detection improvements on CSX property that were agreed to by CSX last August following a freight derailment at Spuyten Duyvil last summer.

The Long Island Railroad, also part of the MTA, plans on installing the same safety features.

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