Hitachi Rail is launching several new automation and digitalization “innovations” and product improvements for freight and passenger railroads at Railway Interchange 2023, which is being held Oct. 1-4 in Indianapolis.
To help railroads “maximize their investment for the long-term,” Hitachi Rail said it is introducing:
• PTC (Positive Train Control) Onboard. This is an “Interoperable Train Control (ITC) solution” for freight railroads and commuter rail operators, according to the manufacturer, which said the “technology platform utilizes a modern, multiprocessor architecture to run both vital and non-vital applications.” PTC Onboard can be installed as an upgrade on existing PTC-equipped locomotives.
“We are excited to bring the Hitachi PTC Onboard platform to the industry, and it will enable freight and passenger rail operations to operate at higher levels of safety and efficiently,” said Miles Metschke, Director of Product Management, North America. “Its unique hot standby technology also increases reliability of the system. We have also planned for the future of train control by including additional expansion capabilities.”
• Gen II M23 and M3 Switch Machines. For both freight and mass transit providers, these new products “retain the proven, core technology that made Hitachi Rail’s original M23 and M3 safe and reliable,” but improve them by simplifying “installation and maintenance activities, in a time when track maintenance windows continue to be reduced,” according to the company.
• DGTRACK. This digital Audio Frequency (AF) track circuit equipment is used to “continuously detect train presence within mainline track circuit blocks (except through interlocking) and transmit cab speed command signals to the train,” Hitachi Rail reported. It is part of the company’s FDC 3G wayside signaling platform and was recently implemented by a major passenger rail operator in North America. (Hitachi Rail did not provide the customer’s name.)
• ViPro® processor. For the MicroLok II wayside signaling platform, this processor “combines core train control capabilities with next-generation communications and remote monitoring,” according to Hitachi Rail, which added that its EasyRail® Connect also supports the MicroLok II platform and is said to provide remote monitoring and diagnostics application.
“We continue to invest in our core products, as well as new digital technologies to provide our customers with modern communication and analytics capabilities,” Hitachi Rail, North America President Joseph Pozza said. “Our commitment to innovation is driving the evolution of rail train control systems, making rail more sustainable and resilient.”