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Rail News: Communication and Signal

NS close to creating its own train-control system


Today, Norfolk Southern Corp. announced it’s developing an Optimized Train Control (OTC) system that will incorporate components of several advanced train-control technologies, including positive train control.

NS plans to combine data communications, positioning systems and onboard computers that monitor a train's braking systems into OTC. The train-control system will be designed to automatically enforce speed and operating limits to prevent train collisions and other accidents, improve network visibility and increase operating efficiency.

Lockheed Martin’s Rail and Gravity Programs group, and GE’s Rail Business group are helping NS design the system.

“The partners will work with multiple vendors to develop new components, and enhance and integrate systems they have been developing over the last decade,” NS officials said in a prepared statement.

The railroad recently implemented the first phase of OTC on a line between Charleston and Columbia, S.C. NS plans to roll out the system on other lines, but did not release a timeframe.

“This is a key step in our commitment to use advanced technology in all aspects of operations,” said NS President Wick Moorman.

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More News from 9/21/2005