See how one of the biggest problems in the train lines in the Netherlands is resolved. The Netherlands is one of Europe's leading countries in the use of rail systems, with a total rail network of 6 km. But the head of the system is in big trouble with the dried leaves falling on the rails in the autumn months. To understand the magnitude of the problem, we only need to look at a study conducted in the UK. According to the research, 2013 million passengers in England experienced flight delays during 4.5 due to the leaves falling on the rails.
When the autumn months come every year, the dried leaves falling on the railway track system throughout the country become the fearful dream of the mechanics. The leaves that fall on the tracks are crushed every time the train passes over them and adhere well to the tracks. The tracks, which become very slippery due to the leaves in humid and especially rainy weather, can cause great problems during the braking of the trains. Trying many ways to solve the problem, the authorities found the solution in laser guns.
Engineers who sprayed a mixture of water and gel-sand on the rails with systems installed on trains before, tried to sweep and scrape, had difficulty in finding solutions to this problem and sought new solutions. The new solution they found is just as good as science fiction movies. The infrared weapon produced by the company named LaserThor placed in front of the trains will send lasers to the rails at temperatures up to 25.000 degrees Celsius at 5.000 revolutions per second. The system, which was developed by the Delft University of Technology and is still in the testing phase, has yielded positive results at low speeds of 80 Km. If the tests that will be carried out at the average travel speeds of the trains give positive results, the system will be implemented.
Prof. Dr. Rolf Dollevoet specifically states that the system does not cause any damage to the rails. The wavelengths of the lasers used in the system are explained by the 1,064 nanometer and it is effective on organic substances such as leaves and oil. Therefore, it has no effect on metal surfaces such as rail. Another question in the minds of scientists at the university is how many trains this system should be placed to keep the rails clean when raining and snows, and the frequency at which they should work.