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Rail News: Communication and Signal

BNSF banks on GPS-equipped locomotives to speed switching operations


BNSF Railway Co. has another tool in its “velocity initiative” belt: Global Positioning Systems (GPS). The Class I has installed the systems on 600 road switchers and yard locomotives to help boost velocity, as well as improve locomotive utilization and productivity.

BNSF division managers are using GPS devices to determine a locomotive’s location, speed, direction and condition. The data helps managers identify underutilized locomotives, adjust fleet size, measure crew productivity and monitor customer activity at industrial facilities.

“GPS technology will provide high-quality, real-time data to help our division leadership manage their assets and help us run a tighter, more efficient operation,” said BNSF Vice President of Transportation Dave Dealy in a prepared statement. “As an essential part of our velocity initiative, GPS information will enable us to identify and eliminate waste.”

By year’s end, BNSF expects to install GPS devices in 1,000 switchers and yard locomotives.

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More News from 9/6/2006