MTA Metro-North train.

USA: New York commuter operator MTA Metro-North is to order ‘one of the most advanced track inspection vehicles in the world’ from Ensco for entry into service in early 2018. The diesel-powered vehicle would combine laser, optical and inertial sensors to measure track gauge, alignment and rail surfaces at 300 mm intervals.

Metro-North has previously relied on third-party contractors using their own inspection vehicles, but will now gain an in-house capability. On May 12 Metro-North President Joseph Giulietti said MTA, the Federal Railroad Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board had ‘determined that the acquisition of a track geometry vehicle would enable Metro-North to improve track inspections’, and ‘significantly contribute to Metro-North’s intense focus on ensuring customer safety.’

‘The railroad can examine track and make necessary repairs with greater speed and efficiency, resulting in cost savings’, said Glen Hayden, Vice-President, Engineering, at Metro-North. ‘It will allow Metro-North to inspect track to meet federal requirements as well as to verify quality of track production efforts.’