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Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals

Florida East Coast Railway completes upgrade of dispatch operations


Last week, Florida East Coast Railway (FECR), based in Jacksonville, Fla., transferred its train dispatching operations to a new dispatch center equipped with its new Wabtec Train Management Dispatching System (TDMS), the company announced Wednesday.

The new dispatching system has been in development by the regional and Wabtec Corp. for about eight months, said Fran Chinnici, FECR’s senior vice president of engineering, mechanical and purchasing.

The Wabtec system is now being used to assist train dispatchers in managing centralized traffic and track warrant control across the railroad's 351-mile mainline, FECR officials said in a press release.

Data from the system is reported and analyzed to increase operational proficiency and train safety, and to improve the customer experience, they said. The system also is designed to provide a platform for the company’s planned integration of a positive train control system.

"The transition to the new dispatch center and the technology provided by the new Wabtec TMDS system certainly takes FECR into a new era for train operations and further demonstrates the commitment to leading edge technologies at FECR," said FECR President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Hertwig.

The new system also will help the railroad continue to prepare for an increase in business that’s expected to occur after the Panama Canal completes its expansion project next year, Hertwig said.