Ballast cars boast push-button operation

Belt ballast cars were upgraded recently.

By retrofitting air-operated electronic door openers onto the cars, what once required significant manual effort now simply requires the push of a button.

West Yard Inspector Lino Villafuerte said the enhancement boosts safety.

“It’s much easier on the arms and back,” he said. “I can’t wait to try them out. It’s more efficient.” 

The cars feature chutes that direct the ballast inside or outside the gauge once their doors are open. Employees previously used a bar to force the doors open. This offered them less control, and there was potential to dump too much ballast, which could cause a potential tripping hazard or even derail the car.

These ballast cars, once bright orange, received a fresh paint job featuring the Belt color scheme; the Belt logo also was bolted onto them.