An unspecified number of locomotives will be outfitted with the Protran “Protracker/PTC” track worker protection overlay system “to alert the locomotive engineer when a shove move has reached its destination,” Protran Director-Marketing and Sales Peter Bartek told Railway Age. “Our contract on this project is with the third-largest energy company in the world. It has hundreds of facilities in the U.S. and conducts thousands of shove moves at many of its facilities. Our first contract is to outfit the locomotives used on the shove moves at the company’s processing plants, and then expand on dozens of other shove move locations. The locomotives are leased by the company from two Class I’s, are on the property for four to six months at a time, and then switched out with other locomotives. Our equipment is installed in such a way that it can be changed out every four to six months to other locomotives as they are placed into service.”
The system will have the capability to also notify the locomotive engineer and an operations control center in real time as to the track shove location as well as warning any workers in the immediate right-of-way.
Protran Technology expects to complete its work by September, with the locomotives “fully operational” at that time.