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Trash-Sucking 'Vacuum Trains' Will Clean Up Tracks Across City, MTA Says

By Ben Fractenberg | August 5, 2016 4:37pm | Updated on August 8, 2016 8:30am

MIDTOWN — The MTA is rolling out a trio of new trash-sucking "vacuum trains" as part of its multi-pronged effort to reduce track fires, the agency announced Friday.

The agency will focus on stations that generally collect more trash, cleaning 94 station tracks every two weeks, up from the current 34, the MTA said. In September the agency will also launch a two-week, system-wide cleaning with more than 500 workers removing trash and debris.

“Operation Track Sweep is a critically important part of our overall effort to create a transit system that’s faster, more efficient and more customer-friendly,” said MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast in a statement.

“There’s no question that a concerted and sustained effort to limit trash on subway tracks will have a significant impact on the efficiency of subway service — getting rid of trash on the tracks helps us decrease the number of track fires, and that means fewer delays."

The agency also released a video with animated characters that look a bit like South Park’s Terrance and Phillip describing the plan and showing how the newly purchased track vacuums and vacuum trains will remove trash starting in November or December.

"Lemme tell you, these things are big time," one animated character says with a distinct New York accent — which happens to belong to the MTA's own Salvatore Arena.

“At the end of the day keeping things clean and reducing track fires is up to all of us,” the spot continues, depicting the newly cleaned train tracks as an immaculate, well-lit landscape with animated sparkles. “We got to either take our trash with us or use the cans.”