Monday, September 24, 2012

Siemens debuts PTC system

Written by  William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
Siemens debuts PTC system Siemens Industry

Siemens, best known in the communications and signals area as a supplier for rail transit systems (such as New York City Transit’s Canarsie Line inaugural CBTC installation) announced Sept. 24 that it has developed Positive Train Control technology for main line North American railroads.

Trainguard PTC is described as “a new train control system that works to prevent train accidents caused by human errors such as overspeed conditions or overrunning red signals. The Siemens PTC team in New York developed Trainguard PTC specifically for the North American market, in accordance with the Rail Safety Improvement Act. Trainguard PTC offers U.S. railroads a new solution for achieving mandatory PTC implementation by Dec. 31, 2015.”

Siemens conducted a field test campaign from July to September 2012 at Transportation Technology Center, Inc., Pueblo, Colo., to validate system functionality. During the test period, Siemens hosted executive representatives from Class I freight railroads, commuter railroads, and the Federal Railroad Administration for live demonstrations of Trainguard PTC.

“We received positive feedback from our customers and we are looking forward to an even closer cooperation with the railroad industry to enhance the design of our PTC system,” said Stephan Klein, Siemens PTC program manager. “Thanks to our long-term experience with train control systems, we were able develop PTC in a very short time span and continue to be regarded as a reliable partner in challenging projects.”

Siemens said observers at TTCI witnessed various test scenarios, including one of the core functionalities of Trainguard PTC, “where it automatically stops a freight train close to a red signal or under overspeed conditions without any driver intervention.” Additional test scenarios showed additional Trainguard PTC capabilities including “restrictive brake enforcement while creeping toward a red signal” and “precise, GPS-based train location determination.”

“Many customers have expressed interest in Trainguard PTC and, in turn, we have intensified discussions with various U.S. railroads in order to develop a partnership for an initial pilot project,” Siemens said. “This will facilitate the rollout of Trainguard PTC and support Siemens’ customers in fulfilling the PTC mandate in time to increase the safety of America’s railroads.”