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Rail News: Communication and Signal

UP contracts Wabtec subsidiary to conduct positive train-control pilot


Wabtec Corp. subsidiary Wabtec Railway Electronics recently obtained a contract from Union Pacific Railroad to conduct a positive train-control pilot.

To be based on Wabtec Railway Electronics’ Electronic Train Management System™ (ETMS®), the communications-based train control (CBTC) system will be tested on lines between North Platte and South Morrill, Neb., and Spokane, Wash., and Eastport, Idaho. As part of the pilot, UP will test the interoperability of ETMS with BNSF Railway Co.’s system, which began operating in 2004.

CBTC is designed to take train movement-related information, such as authority limits, speed limits, signal aspects and work zones, pass the data through a digital communications network and display commands on a computer installed in a locomotive cab. Using location information provided via a Global Positioning System, the onboard computer will automatically initiate braking if an engineer fails to respond appropriately to movement and speed limit information. An onboard display includes a moving map detailing track grade, curvature and topology.

“The pilot program will give us an opportunity to evaluate CBTC and determine if it meets our expectations in safety enhancements and operational efficiencies,” said Jeff Young, UP assistant vice president of transportation systems, in a prepared statement.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/21/2006