Within the last three years, Boston, Massachusetts encountered the 5th and 6th largest snowstorms in history. Massive storms proved to be operationally challenging and greatly disrupted public transit on the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority or MBTA.
As part of a winter resiliency plan, the MBTA has partnered with Railway Equipment Company and Keolis Commuter Services to install gas hot air track switch heater systems and fiberglass covers at critical track switches throughout the commuter rail system.
All of the new systems include Railway Equipment Company’s Sno-Net®. Sno-Net® is a remote monitoring system, capable of monitoring individual track switch heaters and local conditions. Data is sent directly to management and maintenance personnel via a web portal and email notifications. Through the web portal authorized individuals are able to control the track switch heaters as if they were on-site, reducing the need for field visits during adverse winter conditions. Remote monitoring also allows MBTA management to perform predictive and preventive maintenance along with root cause analysis on individual units within the rail system.
Railway Equipment Company’s Gas Hot Air Blowers and Sno-Net® will assist the MBTA in reducing downtime for the commuter rail system during winter events. With 13 commuter rail routes and millions of riders a year, service reliability and accessibility are key factors to ensuring commuter confidence. Over the next several years, MBTA and Keolis officials have committed to investing in upgrades and improvements to improve rail service and response times during harsh weather conditions to create a world class transit system.