NYC Subway System adds Vac-Tron Vacuum Excavators to Fleet

Gov. Cuomo watching a Vac-Tron unit in action. Image Source

New York: Cleaning Subway Systems with Vac-Tron

Politico reported on an initiative the New York Governor is taking to get the subway system to run more efficiently. “Dressed in pale dress trousers and work boots, Gov. Andrew Cuomo grasped an industrial vacuum known as a Vac-Tron and sucked up a pile of litter from the subway tracks in Union Square last week.” – Read More:

Here is a clip from the Press Release The Governors office shared via

“Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today unveiled the “Keep It Clean” initiative to discourage subway littering, a significant underlying cause of flooding, fires and extensive delays in the subway system. The MTA will run a public awareness campaign to inform riders of the impact on public safety due to littering. “Littering is not only illegal but dangerous and directly causes hundreds of thousands of delays, inconveniencing millions of New Yorkers,” Governor Cuomo said. “This initiative will help stop littering-related delays at the source, improving reliability and helping the MTA deliver the subway service that New Yorkers deserve.”

As water flows through the track bed, it collects debris that clogs grated track drains, which in turn causes water to pool on the track bed, accelerating breakdown of the track plates and railroad ties. As pooling increases and the water level rises, it interacts with subway signal equipment – turning signals red and stopping trains on the track. As the water level increases further, it touches the third rail, severely impairing the electrical system. In these cases, service must be immediately suspended until the water is pumped out. Saturated third rail insulators and water-compromised positive cables can also catch fire, again requiring service suspensions until isolated and repaired.

The initiative is utilizing three types of new special heavy equipment in 10 priority corridors, covering 286 miles or 43 percent of the mainline track. One of the three is a Vac-Tron. The city currently has one now and two more on the way.”

The NYCT (New York City Transit) uses the Mini Combo Series, MC 1273.

You can view all Vac-Tron Equipment Vacuum Excavators here.