Certain areas of life are nearly impossible to imagine without modern technology. For instance, before the advent of the washing machine, washing a family’s clothes took an entire day of scrubbing, twisting and rinsing. Likewise, pressure washing for trains has dramatically changed the way people think about rail car cleaning. For the first hundred years or so of train history, cars were washed in a pull-through building that modern thinkers would probably associate with a car wash. Today, however, engineers can rely on pressure washer services to keep trains in tip-top shape – regardless of whether there’s an open washing bay nearby.
Pressure washing for trains includes cleaning the exterior, engine, carriage, wheels and even the interior, depending on the type of train. (The interior of box cars may be pressure washed, but passenger trains will require gentler cleaning approaches. Most pressure washer services are happy to apply these less intense cleaning styles.) Graffiti may also be removed with the proper pressure washer services. Many pressure washer services also include a de-greasing solution to prevent future grime buildup. One caution: Pressure washing for trains should not include the locomotive. Pressure washing professionals should cover locomotives with tarps before washing the rest of the train. This is to protect locomotives’ brake systems; repeated exposure to water can corrode and eventually destroy disk brakes.
A pressure washing approach to rail car cleaning has many advantages, including:
1. COST SAVINGS
This classic motivation for outsourcing services also applies to pressure washing for trains. Many rail managers have chosen to switch from in-house cleaning to outsourced pressure washer services to save money. Specialization typically improves job performance, and pressure washing for trains is no exception. Because pressure washing is all they do, many pressure washer services can undercut traditional employment costs. By hiring out cleaning duties, management can save money on employment taxes, benefits and other labor costs.
2. QUICKER TRAIN TURNAROUNDS
A whole unit train includes 125 cars, equating to an incredibly large surface area that must be cleaned. Many rail yards aim to clean a one-unit train in five days. However, because they specialize solely in pressure washer services, professional pressure washing experts can usually complete the enormous task of washing a train in four days. This means more rail time and less downtime – bringing even more cost savings and profit.
3. MOBILE CLEANING OPPORTUNITIES
Oftentimes, trains are cleaned only when they need repairs or maintenance. This is a shame, since a clean train not only improves employee morale, it also improves the public’s perception of the train industry. Finally, a clean train is usually a faster train, since all that dirt and grime adds unnecessary weight to the whole unit. However, time and equipment constraints limit how often trains can be cleaned in wash bays.
When it’s not possible to run a train through the bay wash, pressure washer services can step in. Pressure washing for trains requires certain equipment, including lifts to reach the top of the train as well as a waste management system. Assuming you select a prepared rail car cleaning partner who has his or her equipment ready to go, you should be able to achieve mobile train cleaning, even if there’s not a wash bay nearby. With more frequent washing, your trains will be faster and more appealing overall.
4. EFFECTIVE GRAFFITI REMOVAL AND PREVENTION
Graffiti is an eyesore that just grows larger and uglier with time. As soon as one tag appears on a train, others are sure to follow. Fortunately, pressure washing for trains can include graffiti removal and prevention. Anti-graffiti solutions can even prevent future tags from appearing.
5. EARTH-FRIENDLY TRAIN CLEANING
Some pressure washer services are dedicated to environmentally conscious operations. Such forward-thinking organizations capture their wastewater, since the water coming off of dirty trains is usually quite polluted with engine chemicals, road dust and more. Wastewater from cleaning trains can taint local watersheds if not collected. Green pressure washing companies also use earth-friendly cleaning solutions to wash trains.
From saving money to saving the earth, there are many advantages to cleaning trains through outsourced pressure washing. One last benefit: Many pressure washer services are also capable of painting trains, so you can take care of even more maintenance tasks at a time.