NS goes with Guardians for EOT

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
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INDIANAPOLIS: Norfolk Southern has reached a preliminary agreement with Progress Rail, a wholly owned subsidiary of Caterpillar Inc., for Guardian End-of-Train (EOT) devices. Progress Rail, which announced the agreement at Railway Interchange 2017, will deliver the devices, described “state-of-the-art,” to NS for use on a portion of its fleet by the end of this year. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

IMG 3992Earlier this year, Progress Rail purchased the IP (intellectual property) of Wise Electronics of Silver Springs, Md., for advanced technologies, including Locomotive Cab Units (LCUs, also known as Head-of-Train devices) and EOT devices. The EOT devices transmit real-time vital information from the end of the train to the LCU.

Unlike many other EOT devices, the Guardian is powered by a small electric motor that spins with a turbine fed by train line air pressure. The motor also charges back-up batteries. The unit, at roughly 17 pounds, is lightweight, compared to traditional EOT devices with heavy batteries.

“Acquiring IP from Wise Electronics expands Progress Rail’s advanced technology offerings to railroad customers in North America and worldwide,” the company said. “The new technologies will become part of our rolling stock product portfolio. They not only enhance Progress Rail’s innovative product line for the rail industry, they also contribute to improved operational safety, accident investigation, security and vandalism prevention.”

“Progress Rail has provided quality products and services to Norfolk Southern for many years, and we’re extremely pleased to see them take the first order of our latest rail technologies to aid in the operational safety of their fleet,” stated Progress Rail Senior Vice President Marketing and Analytics Paul Denton. “Compared to other similar technologies, our Guardian EOT features a more modern design with improved reliability, ergonomics, lighter weight and advanced power management. Its end-of-train coupler mount makes the Guardian EOT faster and safer to apply—a characteristic that train operators can appreciate.”

Progress Rail will assemble the new Guardian EOT units at its Arab, Ala., facility.





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