To keep its fleet shiny and bright, MTA Metro-North Railroad has begun construction of a new automatic train car washer at the Highbridge Car Appearance Facility in the Bronx
Using recycled water and cleaning solutions, the 300-foot-long building will house a series of spinning brushes and pressurized sprayers. The only part of the bath that uses clean water is the final rinse.
"This new facility will enable Metro-North to keep its fleet as clean outside as it is inside," said Metro-North President Peter A. Cannito. "The Highbridge shop, which opened in 2003, has already improved on-board cleanliness and this new car wash will make exteriors sparkle too."
While operating through the facility at a speed of 3 miles per hour, each car is sprayed with heated, recycled water. Then suds are applied and the car is scrubbed by a series of vertical and slanted, rotating and counter-rotating brushes and high pressure sprayers. A pre-rinse uses recycled water and then comes the clean water rinse followed by a forceful blower to dry the stainless steel car bodies.
The car wash uses 280 gallons of water per minute, and 200 gallons of that is reclaimed water and just 80 gallons is fresh water.
After each use, the water goes into a neutralizing tank and then through several filters to remove solids and other impurities.. It is recycled continually until the holding tanks reach capacity. Then the pre-treated water is discharged to New York City's wastewater treatment plant.
An 18-month, $11.2 million contract was awarded last month to Calcedo Construction Corp. of Port Chester for the car wash, which will be located at the south end of the yard.
The car wash, the railroad's third, will be in service by the end of next year.