Fallen leaves stick to damp rails and passing trains compress them into a slippery layer that reduces grip. This leaves a thin, Teflon-like layer on the rails, so train drivers have to brake earlier when approaching stations and signals to avoid overshooting and accelerate more gently to avoid wheel spin.

Leaves on the track? High pressure water jet cleaning solutions

Leaf mulch can also insulate trains from the rails which can affect signalling systems which locate trains. To maintain safety, longer gaps must be left between trains, leading to delays. Water jetting at 1000bar removes these deposits while the train travels at speed. Our systems can also incorporate a friction enhancing system which comprises a sand-based gel which is applied to the rails after cleaning to help trains gain adhesion.

Water jetting is also used for underground tunnel cleaning to reduce the risk of fire, sleeper cleaning, drain cleaning & tank wagon cleaning.

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Benefits of Water Jetting

  • Increases traction on railheads during leaf fall season
  • Does not interrupt passenger services
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Low water consumption
  • When cleaning underground tunnels reduces fire hazards
  • Low water consumption
  • Can be used for other cleaning applications including tunnel, sleeper and tank wagon cleaning


  • Balfour Beatty Railplant (UK)
  • Chiltern Rail (UK)
  • China Steel Corporation (Taiwan)
  • Kaohsiung Rapid Transit Corporation (KRTC) (Taiwan)
  • Taipei Rapid Transit Corporation (TRTC) (Taiwan)
  • Nexus (Tyne & Wear Metro) (UK)