Fall 2015- Slippery Rail Season
At Keolis, we're working hard to get you where you need to go, even when leaves get in your way.
Fall means leaves, and with that - from October through mid-November - comes a railroad phenomenon known as slippery rail.
Also known as Leaf Slippage, Slippery Rail is a fall phenomenon on railroads worldwide. From October to mid-November, leaves fall on tracks, become wet, and trains run over them, creating a Teflon-like substance called pectin that can cause wheels to lose traction. Engineers are forced to slow down or brake early to prevent this sliding, all in the name of safety.
Here at Keolis we take the prevention of slippery rail seriously, monitoring hot spots throughout the fall and using a dedicated team and specialized equipment to wipe them out.
We operate two "High Pressure" washers that pressure washes the rails, leaving them residue free. We also have sanding equipment attached to each locomotive and control car, allowing engineers to apply sand manually. In addition, Keolis uses specialized trucks that can apply a gritty traction gel, as well as permanent trackside gel applicators at known trouble spots.
When we can't reduce the severity of slippery rail, Keolis engineers are trained to adjust speeds and braking for our passenger's safety, sometimes causing delays. Unfortunately, leaf-slippage and related delays can't be completely eliminated.
For another view on the impact of slippery rail and what Keolis is doing to combat it, take a look at this video: https://vimeo.com/109820783
As always, thank you for riding the Commuter Rail