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GE Transportation’s Optimization Solutions division has signed a deal to implement an integrated rail network planning and optimisation system for Australia’s freight rail operator Aurizon.

Under the deal, GE will be responsible for supplying its Movement Planner system, which will be integrated with SolveIT Software’s planning and scheduling applications, to Aurizon’s Australian network to optimise its rail freight traffic.

GE’s Movement Planner system is intended to improve railroad operations and overall usage of infrastructure and resources.

The system integrates real-time planning with traffic management and visibility to the complete network to offer an optimised plan to move trains faster.

SolveIT Software’s advanced planning, scheduling and supply chain network optimisation systems will help provide optimised long,medium and short-term schedules.

According to GE, the systems will also offer day-of-operations output in an integrated enterprise decision support application.

The deal will see GE’s Movement Planner system execute SolveIT’s schedule to ensure that any deviations or disruptions are handled effectively, bringing the train schedule back to normal.

"GE’s Movement Planner system is intended to improve railroad operations and overall usage of infrastructure and resources."

As well as GE and SolveIT, business improvement consultancy Aitch has also been contracted to provide process innovation and user adoption.

GE Transportation’s general manager of Optimization Solutions, Peter Thomas, said that together with SolveIT and Aitch’s tools and expertise, the company expects to offer a complete planning solution to help Aurizon meet its future market demand.

"The Movement Planner system is a powerful tool that gives Aurizon the ability to maximise their rail network capacity and supports complex routing decisions in the day of operations that focus on returning to plan," Thomas said.

The objectives of the project include embedding Aurizon’s business rules into the software’s programming, as well as providing real-time train optimisation via interactive graphs and automated dispatching with conflict detection and resolution.

The selected systems will offer instant visibility of plan versus actual performance through up-to-date dashboards, real-time performance feedback with immediate ability for correction, predictive modelling and supply & demand optimisation.

Image: Aurizon operates freight services in five Australian states transporting coal, iron ore, other minerals, agricultural products and general freight. Photo: Aurizon Holdings Limited