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CN on Friday announced a $10 million program through which it plans to acquire additional monitoring equipment to step up inspection and detection efforts regarding train wheels and rail.The program calls for implementing or installing 30 wayside systems designed to detect hot bearings, hot wheels and dragging equipment; a new track geometry test car to monitor track position, curvature and alignment; an optical track inspection system that uses imaging to identify defects; more than 30 new brittle bar detectors designed to identify and flag derailed equipment; and controlled signaling on certain key sidings in heavily used corridors to alert crews and dispatchers about broken rail.The equipment will enhance the railroad's technological base for the early detection of various rail and wheel defects, CN officials said in a press release."We've had a major push in recent years to increase the number and quality of track, wheel and bearings inspections that help prevent accidents," Jim Vena, executive vice president and chief operating officer. "With this program, we intend to go further when it comes to safe rail operations."CN has more wayside detection technology than any other North America railroad and has increased detection 30 percent over the past five years, CN officials said. The Class I also increased the frequency of ultrasonic rail-flaw inspection by 70 percent in that timeframe, they added."The application of new detection equipment and modern safety technologies will improve the coverage of our network," said Vena.
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