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October 25, 2019

Illinois Railway equips three trains with PTC to enhance safety

OmniTRAX-operated Illinois Railway has installed fully functional positive train control (PTC) equipment on three trains to improve passenger safety.

OmniTRAX-operated Illinois Railway has installed fully functional positive train control (PTC) equipment on three trains to improve passenger safety.

The deployment is part of the company’s initiative to maintain interoperability with similar technology used by BNSF and Metra trains.

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) awarded a grant to Illinois Railway to cover 70% of the cost required to deploy the technology.

FRA aims to promote safety measures that have a fast impact on the railroad infrastructure.

The system monitors trains, track and other variables in the train network.

When the train is in the PTC territory, the system communicates with the system on the BNSF track and helps in preventing crashes and speed violations.

Wabtec provided the hardware, configuration, installation, lab and field testing, as well as training for the PTC system.

OmniTRAX CEO Kevin Shuba said: “We are delighted to be a first-mover on PTC in the short line industry and are making our railroad even safer than it already was.

“We credit Ron Batory, who has made PTC the focus of his leadership of the FRA, as well as US Sen. Tammy Duckworth, the Illinois Department of Transportation and BNSF for their support of this project.”

OmniTRAX COO Sergio Sabatini said: “OmniTRAX works hard to be a good corporate citizen at all of our rail operations.

“The PTC system on the IR is state-of-the-art for a shortline railroad and will work to keep the citizens of the area safe while enabling our customers to continue efficiently moving their freight.”

In August, OmniTRAX agreed to acquire Cleveland Commercial Railroad (CCRL) and its wholly owned subsidiary Cleveland Harbor Belt Railroad (CHB) for an undisclosed sum.

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