Brake-Boss™ tech testing on Union Pacific

Written by Stuart Chirls, Senior Editor
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Union Pacific Senior Telecom Technician Chad Dautreuil, left, and Union Pacific Installation Technician Dale Cunningham work to install Brake-Boss at Livonia, La. Photo: Union Pacific

A recent test is demonstrating how railroads can show yarded trains who’s “the boss” when it comes to the status of air brakes.

Brake-Boss™, a digitized air brake train tester, was recently installed in Union Pacific’s Livonia, La., yard. The first of its kind on the system, according to UP, the Brake-Boss™ is an air flow control kiosk. Handheld devices communicate with the kiosk, enabling employees to actuate, release and monitor a train’s air brakes from a distance. The system uses a cellular data connection, and documents each train’s identification, the number of cars in a train, the track it’s on and who’s working on it.

Designed and manufactured by Connected Controls of Oconomowoc, Wisc., Brake-Boss™ consists of a briefcase-size main testing unit, handheld test unit, and YardMaster™ trackside permanent enclosure. The enclosure is capable of testing multiple trains on different tracks at the same time, with a permanent connection to yard air supply and power.

The system “provides accurate and verifiable results for U.S. and Canadian Class I carriers, with seamless communication from head of train to the end, and directly to the yard foreman’s office,” said Connect Controls. “The system requires less manpower than traditional air brake testing and provides quicker turnaround on trains and tracks.”

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