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Supply Side: Wabtec, Rail Vision, Thales

Written by Carolina Worrell, Senior Editor
Wabtec currently has four GPOCs located in the U.S., Brazil and Kazakhstan that monitor more than 18,000 assets 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Wabtec currently has four GPOCs located in the U.S., Brazil and Kazakhstan that monitor more than 18,000 assets 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Wabtec Corporation (Wabtec) opens first European Transit Performance Optimization Center (TPOC) in Derby, U.K. Also, Rail Vision Ltd. (Rail Vision) receives notice of allowance from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO); and Thales will provide additional 128 vehicle on-board controllers for new R-211 MTA New York City Transit railcars.


Wabtec recently celebrated the grand opening of its first European TPOC in Derby, U.K., which was created to “help transit sector customers improve operational performance and reduce service costs and lost productivity through real-time monitoring and analytics,” the company says.

“The TPOC builds upon Wabtec’s well-established expertise in fleet performance monitoring in the freight rail industry,” the company says. Wabtec currently has four Global Performance Optimization Centers (GPOCs) located in the U.S., Brazil and Kazakhstan that monitor more than 18,000 assets (freight locomotives, marine engines, OHV Systems) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

According to Wabtec, the TPOC is a major step in the company’s expansion and growth into transit asset analytics and condition monitoring. Across Wabtec’s GPOCs, the company says, technicians monitor roughly 10 million pieces of data per day on the health status and performance of transit systems globally, allowing potential train/sub system failures to be predicted before they occur, and maintenance to be scheduled without passenger or train disruption.

“We are thrilled to open this new center, which will provide next generation service solutions for our customers in Europe,” said Garry Mowbray, Wabtec Vice President of Regional Services. “The combination of our inherent experience in global asset management, access to monitoring technology, analysis platforms and maintenance capabilities provide a winning combination for our customers.”

Porterbrook Leasing is the first U.K. rail business to utilize the TPOC services across their fleet of 4,000 passenger rolling stock assets. The TPOC will help deliver enhancements for three key Porterbrook projects that include Class 170 powerpack “power by the mile,” Class 158/9 & 168 oil analysis, and Class 172 powerpack analytics.

“This is a welcome investment from Wabtec, and we look forward to the benefits that the new TPOC in Derby will bring to the industry,” said Ben Ackroyd, Chief Operating Officer at Porterbrook. “Better performance controls and analysis will help Wabtec and asset owners, such as Porterbrook, jointly provide more dependable whole-life asset management capabilities to passenger and freight operators. It will drive improved and more consistent performance and give us the opportunity to further leverage technology in our mission to deliver a safe, reliable and sustainable railway.”

Rail Vision

Israeli development stage technology company Rail Vision announced on Aug. 8 that it has received notice of allowance from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for its patent titled System and Method for Built-in Test for Optical Sensors.

Rail Vision CEO Shahar Hania

The new patent allowance, Rail Vision says, covers the company’s “industry-leading, cutting-edge, artificial intelligence (AI)-based technology, specifically designed for railways, and its ability to perform built-in, real-time tests of the optical sensor.” According to Rail Vision, which is “seeking to revolutionize railway safety and the data-related market,” the system can detect a reduction in optical quality and determine issues with external optical disturbances (EOD) and/or failure of the optical sensors, increasing the trust of operators to rely on technology.

“By strengthening our IP portfolio with this latest patent allowance, we are now in a great position to accelerate the rollout of our game-changing technology into the massive U.S. market,” commented Rail Vision CEO Shahar Hania. “The U.S. has seen more than 10,525 railroad crossing incidents in the last five years, resulting in nearly 1,300 deaths, including five tragically lost just weeks ago when an Amtrak train collided with a dump truck in rural Missouri in late June. It’s this very type of accident that our technology is designed to prevent, and our team is fully dedicated to making this evolution in train safety a reality.”


Thales recently announced in LinkedIn and Twitter posts that its Urban Rail division has been chosen by the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to supply an additional 128 vehicle OBCUs (On-Board Control Units) for Kawasaki Rail Car-built R-211 cars, exercising an option on an existing contract. 

”We appreciate the trust MTA has placed in Thales, and this option award is a testament of the relationship MTA and Thales have been strengthening,“ the company said.

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