Metro-North Railroad To Install Train Monitoring System Near Westport

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Metro-North announced plans to install a new system that would detect defective or overheated wheels and loads of freight trains.
Metro-North announced plans to install a new system that would detect defective or overheated wheels and loads of freight trains. Photo Credit: File

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- Metro-North Railroad has announced plans to install a train-monitoring system that would detect defective or overheated wheels and loads of freight trains that operate on publicly owned tracks.

The equipment, known as a Train Fault Detector System, consists of three components, a wheel impact detector that recognizes flat spots and other wheel defects, a “hot box” detector that assures that all the roller bearings around the axles are rolling properly and not overheating, and a tag reader that identifies individual freight cars. It will also be installed on the Long Island Rail Road. 

“This specialized equipment will improve safety and reduce wear and tear on our tracks,”  Thomas F. Prendergast, Chairman and CEO of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, parent agency of the two railroads, said in a statement. “They are intended to identify faults before they cause problems.”

Metro-North will ask its parent company, the MTA, to implement a a Request for Proposal rather than a simple low-bid contract.

Metro-North intends to install the instrumentation just east of Greens Farms Station in Westport on the New Haven Line and just south of Scarborough on the Hudson Line.

These installations are in addition to fault detection improvements on CSX property that were agreed to by CSX last August following a freight derailment at Spuyten Duyvil last summer.

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