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Rail News: Mechanical
Siemens' new locomotive hub to use 'Internet of Trains' technology
Siemens today will open a new, 44,000-square-foot locomotive service hub in Delaware that will use digital and predictive technology to remotely maintain the units for several railroad operators.
Located in New Castle, the facility will use "Internet of Trains" digital and predictive technology to train service technicians and remotely monitor more than 140 Siemens-built locomotives for customers across the United States, company officials said in a press release.
Siemens' customers include Amtrak, the Maryland Transit Administration, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority and Illinois Department of Transportation. The facility also will monitor full trainsets for Brightline, the passenger railroad that soon will begin service in southeast Florida.
Siemens is already using the technology with Amtrak to monitor and analyze data from 70 Siemens-built ACS-64 locomotives running along the Northeast Corridor. Data already collected prompted Siemens and Amtrak to design and implement software updates that improved the ACS-64's performance, helping Amtrak achieve about 33 percent fewer delays in 2016 compared to 2015, Siemens officials said.
The company also will also use virtual reality technology for maintenance training on different locomotive equipment running worldwide. Using virtual reality goggles and handheld controls, a service technician can virtually stand inside a locomotive and use the handheld controls to work on switches, components and panels.
"This is a key investment for Siemens in our largest market in the world," said Siemens USA Chief Executive Officer Judy Marks. "Trains were the preeminent invention of the first industrial revolution, but today they exemplify a fourth in which software is converging with advanced manufacturing."
Siemens' locomotives manufactured at its U.S. plants are "born digital," said Marks.
"They're computers on steel wheels that constantly collect data," she said. "Now, in New Castle, our technicians and engineers will make this data actionable for our customers."
Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.