Crazy Trains with lights?

Last night for about 20 minutes 3 trains I had never seen before came down the tracks very slowly one after another. All three had crazy lights on the all sides. It almost made it look like a passenger train with lights coming through the window there was so many lights on the outside, but it was not passenger. The

Last night for about 20 minutes 3 trains I had never seen before came down the tracks very slowly one after another. All three had crazy lights on the all sides. It almost made it look like a passenger train with lights coming through the window there was so many lights on the outside, but it was not passenger. The last one even stopped completely for a few minutes. They were incredibly loud. Any ideas what these trains are and what they were doing/transporting?

Best Answer:

Sarah: From your description it sounds like a rail grinder.

Other answer:

Sarah:
Sounds just like routine track maintenance. Special trains are used that have equipment that automatically lift each sleeper (cross-tie) in turn, clean, and then re-pack the ballast beneath it before replacing the sleeper and ensuring that the track is straight and level. The lights along the side are to illuminate the track so that the staff can see what is going on, and for the CCTV cameras on the train that monitor and record the work.
Sarah:
Just seems strange they would need three very longs trains for that. I could see if the trains were a bit shorter but they were all pretty long. It was very odd. I tried to get pictures with and without flash but they all came out horrible. I pulled this from a video ( which also came out horrible) but you can see how all the lights looked like windows and how close together they were .
Christopher:
Possibly some sort of testing and maintenance unit – the run slowly as they are checking the track for any irregularities, and may even be doing some repair work as they go along.
pmt853:
Possibly checking, monitoring and repairing the track and track-bed.

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