Wabtec Corp.’s Trip Optimizer energy management system, described by the company as a “smart cruise control system for trains,” has surpassed, globally, 500 million miles in operation.
Trip Optimizer*, originally deployed in 2009, features “situational awareness that accounts for terrain, train make-up and speed restrictions to calculate an optimum speed plan, automatically controlling locomotive throttle and dynamic brakes according to that plan for optimal fuel utilization and emission reduction.” The system is installed on more than 11,000 locomotives globally and, according to Wabtec, “has saved 400 million gallons of fuel to date [while] reducing CO2 emissions by more than 500,000 tons per year—equivalent to taking 100,000 cars off the road. The system greatly reduces emissions and fuel costs for railroads worldwide.”
“Fuel is the second largest operating cost for our customers, with North American Class I railroads spending more than $7 billion on diesel each year,” said Wabtec Chief Commercial Officer for Digital Electronics Peter Thomas. “The Trip Optimizer system has demonstrated its value by improving locomotive efficiency and utilization for more than 500 million miles of [attended] automatic operation. It is EPA-certified to cut emissions by 10% by reducing fuel consumption, enabling railroads to shrink their carbon footprint and reduce operating expenses.”
“We continue to explore ways to enhance the benefits of the Trip Optimizer system to the environment and our customers by providing advanced features,” said Wabtec Vice President for Train Performance and Automation Solutions Scott Horning. “The SmartHPT feature provides an additional 5% fuel savings by optimizing train performance for a given HPT (horsepower per trailing ton), while integration with our LOCOTROL* DP (distributed power) system provides automatic control of DP trains in independent mode, delivering improved train handling over challenging terrain.”
* Trip Optimizer and LOCOTROL were originally developed by GE Transportation, which General Electric sold to Wabtec in February 2019.