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Wabtec Railway Electronics to develop vital PTC pilot for NS

Wabtec Corp. subsidiary Wabtec Railway Electronics is about to begin developing a positive train-control (PTC) system for a third U.S. Class I.

Today, Wabtec announced the subsidiary won a contract from Norfolk Southern Railway to develop a vital PTC pilot based on the company's Electronic Train Management System® (ETMS).

To be called Optimized Train Control (OTC), the pilot system will be designed to boost productivity and efficiency, and improve safety. NS plans to deploy OTC on a 222-mile South Carolina line in 2009.

"Positive train control is an important component of our drive to enhance safety and service," said NS Vice President of Operations Planning and Support Gerhard Thelen in a prepared statement.

ETMS monitors movement-related information, such as authority and speed limits, signal aspects and work zones, and processes data through a digital communications network. Information is displayed on a computer installed inside a locomotive cab. The onboard computer provides location data derived from a Global Positioning System and automatically initiates braking if an engineer fails to appropriately respond to movement and speed limit information.

Wabtec Railway Electronics has installed ETMS on BNSF Railway Co. lines between Centralia and Beardstown, Ill.; and Fort Worth, Texas, and Arkansas City, Kan. Next year, BNSF plans to install the system on a 150-mile line between Hettinger, N.D., and Terry, Mont. The Wabtec subsidiary also continues to develop a communications-based train-control system for Union Pacific Railroad that's based on ETMS.

For more information on ETMS and other train-control systems, see Progressive Railroading's November issue.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 11/1/2007