Monday, November 23, 2009

CP readies pilot testing of PTC in Alberta

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Canadian Pacific is readying a pilot test of Positive Train Control on its right-of-way linking Calgary and Red Deer, in Alberta, next year to test its efficiency in reducing human error as a potential cause of accidents. CP is preparing to comply with a mandate passedby the U.S. Congress in late 2008 requiring PTC across most of the U.S. rail freight network, prompted by the collision of a freight train and passenger train in Chatsworth, Calif., on Sept, 12, 2008, which killed 25.

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"Human factor causes for accidents is a very small number, industry-wide," said Chris Carroll, CP director of operations, positive train control. "But they are also the  accidents that can have grave consequences ... We are doing a pilot project of the technology thatwill be used in the U.S.” CP’s U.S. subsidiaries include Soo Line Railroad and the Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad.

CP recently completed a GPS survey of the Calgary to Red Deer track last week. "We will develop a database over the nextmonth," said Carroll. "We are spending quite some time in the lab. We will put this technology into work next summer and test trains."