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June 15, 2015

Florida East Coast Railway installs Trip Optimizer on 24 new GE ES44C4 locomotives

Florida East Coast Railway (FECR) in the US has installed Trip Optimizer technology in its 24 new GE ES44C4 locomotives in order to manage fuel expense while maintaining predictable transit times.

Florida East Coast Railway (FECR) in the US has installed GE’s Trip Optimizer technology in its 24 new GE ES44C4 locomotives in order to manage fuel expense while maintaining predictable transit times.

Trip Optimizer is an intelligent, fuel-saving cruise control for locomotive that optimises fuel consumption based on a specific train’s make up and the route travelled.

This technology is part of RailConnect 360, a connected suite of software solutions that offers data-driven insights and it uses big data to learn a train’s characteristics and then builds an optimal operating plan over a given terrain for the train.

"Trip Optimizer is an excellent platform that allows us to continue to build automation into our equipment and processes."

Similar to an aircraft’s autopilot, Trip Optimizer automatically controls the train’s throttle and dynamic brakes when active, while allowing the operator to return to manual control at any time.

FECR mechanical, engineering and purchasing senior vice-president Fran Chinnici said: "One of the key factors in our decision to purchase the new GE locomotives was the advanced engine technology platform and the potential to lower fuel consumption.

"Our use of Trip Optimizer is another proactive step taken by FECR to achieve sustainable fuel savings and emissions reduction.

"Trip Optimizer is an excellent platform that allows us to continue to build automation into our equipment and processes."

Other benefits of Trip Optimizer include reduced wear and tear on rolling stock and tracks, and improved consistency in train handling and transit times.

One of the highest utilisation rates in the industry, Trip Optimizer is being used by 97% of all FECR through trains.

FECR is a 351-mile freight rail system located along the east coast of Florida and it is the exclusive rail provider for PortMiami, Port Everglades and Port of Palm Beach.

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