GE Transportation and Ukrainian Railways on July 9 marked the first GE Evolution Series TE33A locomotive to be built as part of a framework agreement signed in early 2018. It is the first of 30 locomotives that are being built this year in support of the railroad’s effort to upgrade its fleet. “Items of exploration” under the framework agreement include additional locomotives over 10 years, modernization of locomotives in the railway’s legacy fleet, as well as long-term maintenance services.
Railways are harvesting increasing volumes of data on the performance of their assets. But converting raw data into meaningful insights remains a challenge for many industry organizations. At the May 29 Rise of IoT and Big Data in Rail conference in Munich, organized by Rotaia Media, suppliers, tech companies, train operators and infrastructure managers described how they are harnessing the power of data through advanced asset management systems.
Numerous services are available at InnoTrans 2018 to make a visit to the massive transportation trade show in Berlin “both efficient and enjoyable,” organizers say. “A much wider range of data and facts is now provided online, focusing on the convention as well as on the exhibitors, products and innovations.”
San Diego’s North County Transit District (NCTD) has ordered five new Tier 4-compliant Siemens Charger diesel-electric locomotives for service on Oceanside-San Diego Coaster regional/commuter trains. They will replace five older units originally built between 1975 and 1992 and purchased used by NCTD. The contract is worth more than $37 million.
Funds are now available from the Volkswagen Clean Air Act Civil Settlement for ports and other government-owned transportation operators to significantly reduce NOx emissions and other pollutants by replacing outdated switching locomotives.
Analyst Cowen and Co. this week hosted its quarterly rail equipment conference call with expert panelists across the industry spectrum.
The emerging role of Data Science, commonly known as “Big Data” in railroad maintenance, was discussed earlier in Railway Age (“Better Railroading Through Big Data.”) As noted, railroads are developing and implementing new generations of sophisticated inspection and monitoring systems, and as a result are finding themselves collecting large volumes of data.
Canadian Pacific continues to upgrade operations, turning to a U.S. supplier for motive power needs.
Kansas City Southern is powering up ahead of expected growth in North American rail freight.
While technology is driving the new era of railroading, the need for a rock-solid foundation is paramount. The foundation of the railroad industry is training. Just like the Roman Pantheon, an ancient building with a solid foundation and large round pillars that support the stone roof, the pillars of empowerment, compensation and technology must hold up the “roof” of railroading goals that support the desired outcomes like car-count, safety and velocity.