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SYSTRA improves RAILSIM® capabilities for ASCES modeling

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief

SYSTRA has implemented enhancements to its RAILSIM® modeling program for the Advanced Civil Speed Enforcement System (ACSES) Positive Train Control (PTC) system. ACSES is the overlay PTC technology utilized on Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor.

The new version of RAILSIM®, which has been put into service in SYSTRA’s Train Performance Calculator (TPC) and Network Simulator applications, adds ACSES transponder locations, prevents trains from exceeding ACSES speed vs. distance curves, and allows users to define parameters to model locomotive engineer behavior.

“ACSES, like all PTC systems, has an impact on locomotive engineer behavior as train operators learn to brake at the rates enforced by the PTC system to avoid penalty brake applications,” says SYSTRA President and CEO William Crosbie. “RAILSIM®’s new capabilities allow users to simulate train behavior in such an environment, and the new application facilitates the study of the impacts of ACSES implementation on overall train operations. Along with this unique software, SYSTRA brings hands-on operations analysis capabilities to assist railroads to adjust to the new ACSES/PTC operating environment.”

Railroads that operate on the NEC must equip their locomotives and cab control cars with ACSES. In addition to Amtrak, they include NJ Transit, SEPTA, MBTA, MARC, Norfolk Southern, CSX, Conrail, and Providence & Worcester.

The RAILSIM® Simulation Software Suite “represents the latest in PC-based, graphical operations simulation for capital improvements planning, engineering, scheduling, and dispatcher/operator training,” said SYSTRA Vice President Business Development Brian Dolan. “RAILSIM® is used to optimize capital projects, design new train control systems, develop operating plans, and analyze ridership.”

Ted Jones, who leads SYSTRA’s team for maintaining and developing the RAILSIM® Simulation Software Suite, will give a presentation, “Simulating the Effects of PTC Systems on Railroad Operations,” at the APTA Rail Conference in Philadelphia on Tuesday, June 4, 2013, at 10:30 a.m. He will be available to elaborate on the program and its recent enhancements in person after the presentation.

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