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Rail Product News


PS Technology Perspective: Right-sizing a temporary training tool

By Mark Bremmer, senior marketing manager
PTC is crazy expensive. Like you, we applaud improved safety, but the fact remains that the PTC initiative is a pain in the wallet. Additionally, the simple creation and establishment of a testing and recurrency training programs for PTC is not the core business of the railroads. PS Technology is helping railroads meet the PTC requirements by right-sizing a temporary technology solution called PTC Prime. This solution enables railroads to immediately engage PTC training and testing with no major capital outlay or curriculum development time.
PTC Prime is a temporary solution because it can be rented versus. purchased. When it’ s needed for recurrency training, PTC Prime can simple be rented again. No major capital outlay and no hardware or IT issues. However, if the railroad has a significant enough need, PTC Prime can also be purchased. 
The right-sized technology relies on a completely mature, yet advancing development tool set that leverages state-of-the-art gaming visuals while running the actual physics simulations of train behavior. T&E trainees will be right at home with the look, feel and behavior of the train simulations. The PTC Prime solution will be updated regularly from a technology and regulatory need when required. The dual monitors and three-quarter-scaled engine controls fit easily into any office.
Guided digital learning and testing means T&E employees receive engaging and focused instruction with staged knowledge testing.  Derived from Class I training, the PTC Prime technology allows PS Technology to “re-scale” the knowledge and abilities into an affordable and highly effective training solution. The eight hours of coursework and training is preplanned and ready to engage. PTC Prime makes meeting PTC training requirements by 2018 a non-issue.

Speed to solution is the primary need for PTC Prime. Not only do compelled railroads need to comply with PTC in general, but in addition to the submission of a safety plan, there needs to be training, testing and scoring per FRA requirements and standards. Curriculum development is major endeavor as is the record maintenance for tested employees. The actual training of T&E workers is above and beyond that.
PS Technology’s PTC Prime solution means that whenever it’s rented, users will be getting the most current technology, curriculum, regulatory and knowledge testing available. It’s a total turn-key solution. The only thing railroads need to do is schedule the training for their T&E employees. A single unit can be rented and used 24 hours a day, allowing railroads to run three employees through per 24-hour period. If the timeline is shorter and more employees need to process, renting additional units solves the problem.  
The compliance deadlines are beginning to sneak up on the railroads. A simple exercise in math regarding number of T&E employees times the eight-hour required training reveals the testing-only time line needed. Any type of curriculum development and approval would be on top of that. PTC Prime implementation eliminates those additional development steps and allows railroads to immediately begin training and compliance.