Progressive Railroading


Newsletter Sign Up
Stay updated on news, articles and information for the rail industry

All fields are required.

Rail Product News


Wi-Tronix LLC Perspective: Helping to streamline and monitor PTC implementation

By Chad Jasmin, vice president of customer strategy

Safety is the No. 1 priority for railroads. At Wi-Tronix LLC, it is also our top priority when we develop solutions for the rail industry. Our initial goal was to create a solution that would help improve the safety of the rail industry. Our most recent solution, Violet™, does that but also has the added benefit of helping railroads streamline and monitor their PTC implementation.

Violet is a multi-purpose all-in-one platform that combines a locomotive data acquisition recording system (LDARS), event recorder of record (ER), crash-hardened memory module, digital video recorder (DVR) and business critical data acquisition system in a single box. Other products offer onboard devices — but with a minimum of two boxes. This equates to railroads incurring more installation time, increased daily maintenance and possible space issues to contend with in the cab. One solution simplifies what is already an incredibly complex and costly system for railroads.

In addition to requiring hardware, PTC produces immense amounts of data. PTC produces the data, but Violet software collects, sends, and preserves this information. Preserving PTC and other system data is vital for both incidents and everyday operations. With the Violet software collecting the streaming, real-time ER and thumbnail information, event recorder of record data is preserved and immediately accessible via a web browser, even if the hardware were inaccessible.
That data can also be used to determine if engineers are complying with safety rules and plans. With Violet, railroads can realize business value from their PTC investment by monitoring and adjusting safety plans and training accordingly. Violet remotely monitors each railroad’s real-time PTC health and status during implementation. This visibility helps railroads create business value from their significant PTC investment by monitoring onboard faults between multiple systems, resulting in rapid deployment of information to PTC desks. These capabilities reduce impacts on velocity caused by information delays.

Violet deployments and upgrades were designed to be easy as possible for railroads and reduce downtime. Violet can be installed within two to four hours to get locomotives back on the line faster. Violet software updates can be conducted over the air, eliminating the need to pull locomotives out of service for software upgrades. Violet’s form factor is backwards compatible for an easier and more cost effective transition from Wi-PU™ to Violet.

Overall, Violet streamlines the process of railroads identifying issues with PTC systems to help railroads reach their 2018/2020 implementation and PTC safety plan goals.