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5/31/2007



Rail News: Passenger Rail

SYSTRA to help NICTD, Metra allocate traction power costs on shared track



The Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD) recently contracted SYSTRA Consulting Inc. to analyze NICTD’s and Metra’s operations over shared Metra Electric District tracks to determine how the agencies can better allocate traction power costs.

Each weekday, Metra operates 170 trains over the 40-mile route and NICTD runs 37 trains over a 14.5-mile section of the corridor between Randolph Street Terminal and Kensington Interlocking, where NICTD trains then diverge east onto the South Shore Line.

During the next year, SYSTRA will use its RAILSIM® simulation software to model train-by-train power demand and consumption based on NICTD and Metra operating plans. The firm also will factor in traction power used by trains at maintenance shops and yards, and switch heater power used in winter. The study will take into account the regenerative capabilities of Metra’s new rolling stock, which can return some braking energy to the traction power system to be used by nearby trains.

SYSTRA will tabulate the simulation outputs into minute-by-minute electrical demand and consumption allocable to each agency over a full calendar year and compare the tabulations with traction power utility billings.


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