IRVING, Texas--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--Officers from Alcerol Mittal, BNSF, Canadian Pacific, Ferromex, Florida East Coast, Norfolk Southern, Union Pacific, and Vale met in Dallas, Texas October 21-23 to discuss train handling, fuel savings and the future of train control at the New York Air Brake Train Dynamic Division’s LEADER® users conference.
“With average fuel savings in the mid-single digits and an annual fuel burn approaching 500,000 million gallons, 5% saves NS 25,000,000 gallons of diesel fuel and at today’s prices that is nearly $75,000,000 each and every year”
LEADER is a revolutionary freight train management system designed to improve train handling and yield significant fuel savings.
The conference consisted of various topics including train handling, fuel savings, and the future developments of this technology.
The workshop on train handling was facilitated by Steve Harris, AVP and Chief Mechanical Officer for BNSF. Norfolk Southern, Union Pacific, and BNSF all reported that their data showed increases in fuel savings when in-train forces were minimized. Mr. Harris says, “The BNSF is optimistic with these technologies, and in LEADER’s ability to provide and control distributed power, particularly asynchronous distributed power which provides a wealth of opportunities to minimize in-train forces.”
A workshop on fuel savings was facilitated by Coleman Lawrence, Senior Director of Operations and Locomotive Control for NS. The railroads reported fuel savings of 3% to 15% depending on the make-up of the train, track profile and speed. At NS LEADER is installed on 1500 locomotives (approximately two thirds of the road fleet) and will deploy on all road locomotives soon. “With average fuel savings in the mid-single digits and an annual fuel burn approaching 500,000 million gallons, 5% saves NS 25,000,000 gallons of diesel fuel and at today’s prices that is nearly $75,000,000 each and every year,” says Mr. Lawrence.
Railroads were enthusiastic about the launch of LEADER AutoControl™, a feature that automatically controls throttle and dynamic brake and further improves fuel efficiency. More importantly LEADER-AC is an important first step in providing the real time input needed to maximize rail network efficiency.
Facilitated by Jeff Young, AVP of Transportation Systems at UP the final workshop looked down the road at the technology roadmap. LEADER Product Manager, Sammy Akif outlined new technology rollouts that will occur in 2014 and include LEADER AutoPilot with full train control capability including automatic air brakes. Mr. Akif says, “This will move the locomotive engineer’s focus away from manual control settings inside the cab to conditions ahead of the train outside the cab, enhancing both the efficiency and safety of train movement.”
LEADER train management software calculates ideal propulsion and braking applications to minimize in-train forces while optimizing train movement for the most efficient use of time and fuel.
Developed by New York Air Brake / Train Dynamic Systems Division, LEADER has provided 30,000,000 gallons of fuel savings to railroads in North America, Australia, Mexico, and Brazil. Bill Sturtz, General Manager, New York Air Brake / Train Dynamic Systems Division announced, “It is a testament to LEADER’s ability to correctly manage in-train forces that over 125,000,000 miles and more than 800,000 trips our system has never broken a train.”
About New York Air Brake
Train Dynamic Systems is a division of New York Air Brake, LLC, a Knorr-Bremse company, a leading supplier to the freight railroad industry of air brake control systems and components, electronically controlled braking systems, foundation brakes, training simulators and train handling systems.
The Knorr-Bremse Group is the world’s leading manufacturer of braking systems for rail and commercial vehicles. For more than 100 years, the company has pioneered the development, production and marketing of state-of-the-art braking systems. Additional information may be found at www.NYAB.com.