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Slippery Rail & How it Affects Your Commute

<style type="text/css">.img1{ float:right; margin: 0 0 15px 15px; margin-top:28px;}.img2{ float:left; margin: 0 15px 15px 0;}</style><p><img class="img2 frame" src="/sites/default/files/archive/imgs/rail_scrubber.jpg" alt="Rail Scrubber" name="railscrubber" width="197" height="296" id="railscrubber" /></p><p>In autumns past, you may have heard our train crews mention "slip-slide" to explain minor service delays you may have recently experienced. This condition is created by a slimy substance left by crushed leaves on our rails that gets even more slippery and slimy after it rains.</p><div style="float:right;padding-left:15px;padding-bottom:15px;"><object width="390" height="244"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/H0uUGCnzEbw?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/H0uUGCnzEbw?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="390" height="244"></embed></object></div><p>When a train attempts to speed up or slow down, a gelatinous slime can cause the wheels to slip or slide along the rails. In severe cases, the train will make an automatic emergency stop, because the on-board computer perceives "slip-sliding" as excessive speed.</p><p>All this slip-sliding and braking can create flat spots on the train's wheels, forcing us to take much-needed train cars out of service for repair.</p><br /><p>But thanks to Metro-North's proactive approach, wheel damage caused by slippery rail has been reduced due to a number of changes.</p><p>The software on the M-7 fleet has been reprogrammed so that the braking system can better adjust to slip-slide conditions. In addition, we have enhanced our computerized train-tracking system to allow for automatic reporting of slip-slide incidents and conditions, enabling us to take corrective action more quickly<img src="/sites/default/files/archive/imgs/wheeltrue.jpg" class="img1 frame" alt="wheeltrue" name="wheeltrue" width="390" height="260" id="wheeltrue" /></p><p> Engineers have been instructed to report slippery conditions immediately to the Operations Control Center so that other crews can be warned about where to anticipate slippery conditions. We also have trained them to reduce speeds in "slippery" areas.</p><p>Speed restrictions may result in slight delays to service, but they also prevent greater delays because of wheel damage. And no flat spots on train wheels also means we can operate at regular speeds in non-problem areas.</p><p>Along with training and technology, the railroad also is cleaning more frequently to remove dead leaves from the tracks. Rail washers use extremely pressurized water to clean the running rail. Scrubbers consisting of rotating wire brushes polish the rails' surface. And on-board "sanders" on our locomotives drop sand on our tracks automatically when slip-slid begins to occur. This improves traction and reduces wheel slippage.</p><p>Metro-North has reduced the incidents of slippery rail but we cannot eliminate them. We will continue our efforts to minimize delays created by slippery rail this autumn. And, as always, we appreciate your patience…</p><p align="center"><br /></p>