MTA Tests Prototypes of New Track Vacuum Systems

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is testing two prototypes of portable track vacuum systems which can be quickly deployed, operated from platforms, and moved easily. The first unit is being tested, while the second will be deployed within the next two weeks. The tests are scheduled to last approximately 30 to 45 days.

“Testing these new technologies is a key part in our plan to get the tracks cleaner, and keep them cleaner over the long haul,” said Veronique Hakim, MTA New York City Transit president. “Once we’re sure that these units are effective we’ll be ordering additional units to deploy across the system.”

The prototype units are powered by lithium iron phosphate batteries with a battery management system that protects the batteries and load from over current. The units and battery system can be moved from station to station on a conventional revenue train.

At the successful completion of the tests, the MTA will move to acquire and deploy additional units. In addition, the MTA has ordered a trio of new track vacuum trains. The first train will be delivered in 2017, followed by the second and third in 2018.

The units are part of the MTA’s ongoing Track Sweep initiative, which is a plan to reduce the amount of trash on subway tracks. which will reduce track fires and train delays.

The MTA is also purchasing 27 new refuse cars to move debris out of the system more quickly. The cars are equipped with special railings to secure and transport wheeled garbage containers that are collected at subway stations.