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Advanced Rail Systems (ARS) is a switch control systems and yard automation provider that offers a new switch machine and “subcomponents to go with our user-friendly software,” according to the company.
The YM-16 switch machine has few moving parts and needs no regular maintenance; no greasing, lubricating or replacement of wear parts is required, the company says, adding that adjustable components are designed to ensure maintainers do not need to place their hands near moving parts. During installation, the machine mechanically locks in the centering position.
The Pathfinder control software is on a Linux platform, so it can work with a range of devices. Switch machines, derails, blowers and heaters can be controlled, components can be monitored for performance, cars can be tracked, inventory can be managed and operations can be monitored remotely. Users also can update or modify the program.
Janam Technologies LLC offers the XM2-RFID for Rail, a handheld RFID-reading solution for the railroad industry. The XM2-RFID for Rail features “best-in-class” read range and battery life, and is the “first fully integrated handheld computer to deliver the ability to read Automatic Equipment Identification (AEI) RFID tags to the palm of the hand,” the company says.
Fully featured to provide the power and performance required for all-day, every-day use by mobile workers in freight and rail operations, the XM2-RFID for Rail is designed to read the AEI RFID tags required on all North American rail cars, enabling railroads and intermodal companies to track and monitor equipment more effectively.
The device is equipped with a user-addressable compass for integration with transportation applications, a 3.2-inch color display, a Zebra SE4500 2D imager for robust decoding of the hardest-to-read barcodes and support for Microsoft’s Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5 operating system.
Vossloh Signaling Inc. offers a suite of products called Modular Yard Automation (MYA) designed to enable railroads to automate switching in flat yards.
“With MYA, we allow our customers to determine the functionality they require and customize a MYA module (combination of signaling products) to meet their specific needs,” the company says.
MYA product modules include the patented TS-4500 direct drive hydraulic switch machine, switch control system (DTMF/Data Radio), point detection system and RailMaster™ yard control software. As a flat yard expands, new modules can be seamlessly integrated into existing MYA solutions, the company says.
New this year is an upgrade to RailMaster, which now includes an enhanced touch screen user interface; visual upgrades include straighter lines and sharper graphics without pixilation, the company says.
Other new features include the ability to add stacked routes, which enables the controller to enter a list of train movements into the system and work through them by pressing the “advance” button or letting the system advance automatically when it detects that the previous movement has been completed.
Siemens provides beam and piston retarders for full automatic shunting on humps in marshalling yards. Piston retarders are primarily used in speed control systems on classification tracks for deceleration and coasting runs. Their level of effectiveness can be set depending on the speed involved.
“Our Trackguard Retarder TK/TKG piston retarders control themselves by means of a hydraulic valve system in the damper, and do not need to be supplied with power,” the company says. “The hydraulic damper is the active retarding element and is based on a speed-dependent valve system. Hydraulic dampers can be permanently set to different response speeds and damper forces.”
The Trackguard Retarder TKG’s guide cylinder surrounds the damper at its lower end “like a pot” — it is designed as an oil drip pan that collects any oil that escapes in the event of damage, the company says.
No special tools are required for damper disassembly, and the only periodic maintenance required is greasing the retarding elements. Regular trackside maintenance and inspection work can be performed by one person without having to connect to a power supply.
The Progress Rail PowerView Locomotive Event Recorder integrates into the EMD FIRE display, as well as other locomotive systems, and contains an integrated, internal, field replaceable crash-hardened memory module for data acquisition.
The recorder has a full industrial switch and multiple Ethernet ports for flexible network connectivity, as well as digital inputs with the capability to add additional inputs for various requirements. The SATA drive bay with locking mechanism, when combined with industry-standard network IP cameras and a solid state drive, expands PowerView to include full LDVR functionality. Network flexibility enables multiple cameras, as well as multiple camera types, to be used in a single MCU 5 unit.
The recorder also offers “industry leading processing capability” and secure, tamper-proof storage capacity in a compact design that meets industry shock and vibration specifications, the company says.
Integrated GPS for auto time synchronization, as well as a WebGUI interface, enable easy access for configuration, system functions and data access. The Event Recorder also comes with Progress Rail’s PowerView Event Playback software for downloading and analyzing secure event recorder data.
GE Transportation’s RailConnect Network Optimization solutions use advanced algorithms designed to unlock and optimize network and yard efficiencies. The idea: increase capacity and velocity.
Designed to optimize the operation of a rail classification yard, Yard Planner software helps trainmasters and yardmasters visualize yard state and plan yard activities, and make better decisions on asset utilization and resource allocation to reduce car dwell and improve terminal productivity, the company says.
“Yard Planner maximizes car connection performance and reduces car dwell by planning and optimizing terminal operation activities without compromising outbound on-time departure performance,” the company says.
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