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Rail News: Mechanical

BNSF begins to test GE's diesel consumption control system


Today, BNSF Railway Co. will begin piloting the Consist Manager™ (CM), a new system marketed by GE Transportation-Rail that’s designed to reduce a locomotive consist’s fuel burn between 1 percent and 3 percent.

Through computerized control, the system adjusts throttle settings for the lead and trailing locomotives to manage fuel economy.

BNSF will test the system on locomotives in “captive service” on a route between Everett and Pasco, Wash. Train crews recently completed CM training. During the pilot, BNSF officials plan to gather feedback from train crews on CM operations and training.

“With CM, the train crew uses a master controller to control the total consist power and speed, but CM automatically calculates the most efficient way to distribute that power across each locomotive in the consist,” said John Quilty, BNSF assistant vice president of operating practices, in a prepared statement. “The train crew just needs to enter a few simple pieces of information to set up a new consist.”

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More News from 2/1/2006