CSX is working with the Federal Railroad Administration to test and implement Wabtec’s new Trip Optimizer Zero-to-Zero technology, the Class I railroad reported Sept. 7.
Wabtec describes Trip Optimizer as a “smart cruise-control system for trains [programmed through artificial intelligence] that takes into account terrain, train make-up, speed restrictions and operating conditions to calculate an optimum speed profile. It then automatically controls locomotive throttle and dynamic brakes to reduce fuel burn and provide efficient train handling.”
CSX, which implemented Trip Optimizer years ago, said it will be the first railroad to test Zero-to-Zero, a new feature that “allows a train to start from zero miles per hour and stop automatically using intelligent controls. It leverages air-brake control and signal-aspect information, and further expands the opportunity to save fuel and improve operations.”
“The Zero-to-Zero system provides us a 360 [degree] view and control of the movement of the network’s fleet, from start to finish, to ensure we are running the most efficient train plan possible,” CSX Director of Fuel Strategy Corey Davis said in a Sept. 7 video announcing the start of testing. System use will help reduce CSX’s “carbon footprint by as much as 250 tons of carbon dioxide per locomotive per year,” he reported.
According to Wabtec, Trip Optimizer, which now generates trip plans on more than 12,000 locomotives, saves more than 135,000 gallons of diesel fuel per day, cumulatively.