PATCO announced today an enhanced, revised rail schedule to ensure reliable performance during the annual "Leaf season."
From mid-October through early December, fallen leaves that are crushed on the rails by traveling trains create an oily residue on the surface of the track. This results in trains taking a longer time to accelerate and decelerate, and can cause wheels to slide. The resulting friction can flatten parts of wheel surfaces, causing trains to roll unevenly.
"This is a common dilemma for rail lines in areas that are subject to seasonal leaf fall," said PATCO General Manager John D. Rink. "The loss of friction created by leaf residue can require that we take affected trains out of service for repairs, which can result in temporary equipment shortages, and can also lengthen the running times because of slower acceleration and the need for more gentle braking. We also use a high-pressure washer to scour the rails during mid-day hours. Unfortunately, these combined efforts can result in brief train delays."
The schedule adjustment will take effect on Monday, October 23rd and will continue until early-December. During that period, trains between Lindenwold and Philadelphia will run at slightly reduced speeds.
To view the schedule, please click here.