New York subway tracks (Photo: F Muhammad/Pixabay)

USA: Redundant New York Subway cars are to be converted into mobile pump trains which can be used to remove water from tunnels following hurricanes and unusually heavy rainfall.

The project forms part of NYC Transit’s storm preparedness efforts following Superstorm Sandy in 2012, and is being funded with a Federal Transit Administration emergency relief grant.

The conversion will use four withdrawn Kawasaki R110A cars which were built as technology demonstrators in 1993, and is to be undertaken by Brookville Equipment Corp under a $23·9m contract.

There will be two sets each comprising a one pump car and one generator car, which will be used with NYCT’s existing hose and reach cars to pump water out of subway tunnels.

Each pump car will have four inline submersible pumps, and one horizontal pump for use in especially low areas. The pumps will be individually controlled.

The generator car will have an EPA Tier 4 diesel engine and alternator, with the operator control panel, batteries for starting the engine, solar panels and an automatic fire suppression system.

Brookville will supply kits to retrofit the existing hose and reach cars with 480 V three-phase connections to the newly converted vehicles, and all the cars will receive new bogies designed for 63 tonne freight wagons.

Brookville will also provide testing, training, spare parts and warranty support.

‘The pump and generator cars put Brookville in a unique position to leverage its history in both transit and underground mining and construction applications to provide this unique emergency use solution’, said Vice-President of Business Development Joel McNeil on November 15.