News & Reviews News Wire Custom train wash helps Brightline put on a shiny face (with video)

Custom train wash helps Brightline put on a shiny face (with video)

By Bob Johnston | March 30, 2023

Rechristened 'Basecamp' hosts media at new maintenance facility

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ORLANDO, Fla. — Clean windows and a sparkling appearance may not be a priority to other passenger and commuter operations, judging from the caked-on grime passengers around the country put up with daily. But from its inception in 2018, Brightline has consistently valued interior and exterior cleanliness on its South Florida trainsets.

When revenue service is extended from West Palm Beach to Orlando International Airport on a yet-to-be determined date this year, a key component in providing a memorable travel experience is the automated train wash. Custom-designed by Whiting Systems of Bryant, Ark., it continues to undergo tests at Brightline’s Basecamp, the new moniker for the company’s Vehicle Maintenance Facility.

After passengers leave the train at Orlando’s airport station and before other turn-around servicing occurs, trainsets move directly to the washer building. The process begins when the Basecamp engineer, guided by a series of digital speedometers, pulls the train into the washer at an optimal speed of 3 mph.

As seen in video provided by Brightline, it pauses about halfway through. Once the train stops, a massive articulated spinning brush then drops down to clean the bottom of the locomotive’s streamlined nose cone and gradually rides up to the cab’s windshield as the train moves forward. The rear locomotive’s sloping front is then washed as the brush moves from top to bottom.

The rinse that follows includes chemicals to help eliminate spots, and inflatable bags with squeegees on the end to finish the windows. Waste water is captured and pumped to a four-tank system, where sediment sinks to the bottom. The recycled water that remains is then combined with collected rain water for re-use.

Brightline says its Basecamp train wash can scrub a two-locomotive, four-car train in 15 minutes. That will be a valuable attribute to facilitate fast turnarounds with up to 16 daily round trips planned. And it will prevent excuses explaining why the windows on any train headed to Miami aren’t spotless.

8 thoughts on “Custom train wash helps Brightline put on a shiny face (with video)

  1. Now Amtrak needs to buy these for their operations on the east coast. Once single-level equipment goes into service on the west coast his equipment could be purchased for Los Angeles, Emeryville, and Seattle.

  2. This looks kind of like a Truck-O-Mat truck wash for a train.
    Whiting, IIRC, made the machinery for the Truck-O-Mat truck washes. Many years ago.

    1. The sediment, the improper use grammar, and lack of proof reading have already sunk!

  3. What an impressive operation. This company shows pride in their image and care for their customers.

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