Union Pacific Initiates Aggressive Positive Train Control Implementation Plan for Commuter Lines in the Los Angeles Area By 2012
- Positive Train Control Media Kit
Includes Union Pacific PTC Fact Sheet
- RR Industry Leaders Agree On Establishing PTC Interoperability Standards
Omaha, Neb., October 08, 2008 Union Pacific Corporation (NYSE: UNP) announced today that it has developed an implementation plan that should deliver Positive Train Control (PTC) technology to UP rail lines shared with commuter lines in the LA region in the year 2012.
"UP has begun testing our version of PTC, called VTMS, across 456 miles of track. This testing will allow us to further validate hardware and software technology requirements to implement it across our network," said Dennis Duffy, Union Pacific executive vice president-Operations. "A metropolitan area such as LA presents unique operational and technical requirements such as the high volume of radio spectrum needed and shared lines between freight and passenger trains."
PTC is a predictive collision avoidance technology that can stop a train before an accident occurs. PTC is designed to keep a train within authorized limits on a track and under its maximum speed limit. To accomplish this, sophisticated technology and braking algorithms will automatically bring both passenger and heavy freight trains to a safe stop. This will help prevent train-to-train collisions, over-speed derailments and casualties or injuries to the public and railway workers.
UP's version of PTC, Vital Train Management System (VTMS), will be tested on freight lines in Iowa, Nebraska and Wyoming, and in Washington and Idaho as part of an international test with Canadian Pacific Railway. When necessary, VTMS will override the engineer or operator of the train.
Today, UP also announced the establishment of an interoperability agreement with Norfolk Southern and Burlington Northern Santa Fe. The agreement is symbolic of the dedication of the industry to implementing PTC and providing safer rail operations. Interoperability is one of the key challenges since freight and passenger trains share tracks and must be able to exchange and use information.
Passed October 1, 2008, The Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 requires all Class I railroads and passenger railroads to implement a PTC system by December 31, 2015 on all main line track where intercity passenger railroads and commuter railroads operate, as well as on lines carrying hazardous materials. Train signal systems such as Automatic Train Control (ATC) and Automatic Train Stop (ATS) are used across many rail networks today, but these are not PTC systems. ATC and ATS are reactive systems, which means they wait for train engineers to acknowledge alarms and would not prevent collisions under all circumstances. PTC involves robust, predictive technology that detects upcoming conditions and takes control of the train when needed.
About Union Pacific
Union Pacific Corporation owns one of America's leading transportation companies. Its principal operating company, Union Pacific Railroad, links 23 states in the western two-thirds of the country and serves the fastest-growing U.S. population centers. Union Pacific's diversified business mix includes Agricultural Products, Automotive, Chemicals, Energy, Industrial Products and Intermodal. The railroad offers competitive long-haul routes from all major West Coast and Gulf Coast ports to eastern gateways. Union Pacific connects with Canada's rail systems and is the only railroad serving all six major gateways to Mexico, making it North America's premier rail franchise.
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