Roadway worker protection—preventing casualties or injuries caused by moving trains to maintenance-of-way and bridge workers and signal maintainers operating within their limits of authority—is among the primary requirements of Positive Train Control. Roadway worker limits of authority can be miles long; in dark territory, worker protection can be particularly challenging to accomplish.
ProTran1, according to chief executive Peter Bartek, has successfully piloted a new PTC interface for its wireless ProTracker system, which provides advance notice to a locomotive engineer of the presence of roadway workers ahead, and to roadway workers of an approaching train. “One of ProTracker’s key features is its ability to operate in dark territory and within the advance-warning requirements of FRA’s new PTC rules,” says Bartek. “We tested our system with two PTC technologies—Wabtec’s ETMS (Electronic Train Management System) and Alstom’s ACSES (Advanced Civil Speed Enforcement System). ProTracker was able to interface with key PTC protocols on both systems, communicating with the onboard platform, which in turn communicates with the central office. Since ProTracker is a standalone system, it adds an additional layer of redundancy on top of the limits of authority issued by the PTC system.”
BNSF, CSX, Norfolk Southern, and Union Pacific are deploying PTC systems based on ETMS. ACSES is used by Amtrak, commuter railroads, and freight railroads on the Northeast Corridor. “Our successful testing paves the way for the ProTran1 ProTracker to be a part of the widespread installation of PTC systems by December 2015,” Bartek says.