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By Jim Hanlon, vice president of rail systems Herzog Technologies Inc. (HTI) has been working for years to help railroads implement PTC, focusing on the implementation deadline. While the FRA extension to 2018’s end gave railroads some breathing room, the industry needs both innovation and involved partners to help meet the deadline. HTI has embraced this challenge by providing services for every part of the PTC implementation process. As PTC systems integrators, HTI has witnessed the challenges of PTC firsthand as vendors and suppliers’ niche roles continues to evolve. While larger railroads have been able to build large teams or robust processes to handle PTC, smaller railroads generally do not have the same capabilities. HTI’s three-part solution for smaller railroads consists of PTC implementation program management, PTC Back Office Hosting services and PTC Geographic Information System (GIS) services. With Program Management, HTI offers a scalable solution to PTC. From basic guidance to a full turnkey solution, HTI can assist customers with any aspect of PTC. This includes scheduling, vendor management, technical design, testing and FRA/host railroad interfacing. Realizing that Program Management fills many, but not all, of railroads’ needs, HTI launched Herzog PTC Hosting. This solution grants railroads the option of offloading complicated PTC back office functions, allowing the focus to be on operations, not technology. The Herzog PTC Hosting platform provides both interoperable messaging and BOS functionality via a state-of-the-art data center and highly available infrastructure design. Supported by a 24/7/365 call desk, PTC Hosting greatly simplifies PTC for its prospective customers. Another area where HTI innovates is in GIS Field Services. Many years ago, we realized that the amount of track to be surveyed, validated and maintained, was beyond our ability to achieve using a then-standard approach. With this, we developed both hardware and software solutions designed to increase both efficiency and accuracy. Our GIS Field Services collect all the GIS data necessary for PTC. From surveying to feature validation in the field, HTI’s field services are thorough, accurate and designed to minimize impact on rail traffic. HTI’s services are designed to solve industry problems with efficiency, simplicity and cost savings in mind. We are always looking to innovate and provide better solutions. In doing so, we help move the industry toward the deadline.
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