In 2004, TUV Rheinland Rail Sciences, Inc. was contracted by The Catton Group International to help integrate a pullback protection technology into remote control locomotive (RCL) switching operations. The stopping distance calculations performed by TUV Rheinland Rail Sciences have since allowed for more accurate and safer pullback operations.
With the development of GPS and remote transponder systems, traditional two-person RCL long pullbacks can be performed with the use of only one remote control operator. Properly placed remote transponders backed by a GPS overlay can replace the functions that an on-board watchperson would perform, such as preventing the train from entering a grade crossing, reaching the end of the pullback track or entering the mainline track.
For this system to function with one man operation, the remote transponders must be placed at appropriate intervals to monitor and adjust the speed of the train based on tonnage and available stopping distance. TUV Rheinland Rail Sciences has the unique capability of being able to complete the full range of data collection and analysis needed to determine effective transponder placement.
To complete a full pullback transponder placement analysis, data on the layout and elevation of the pullback tracks are needed, as well as, the start and market access ending points of the pullback zones, the safety zone length and the stopping point. This information is sometimes provided to us by the railroad, while other times, we collect the data onsite.
TUV Rheinland Rail Sciences sends out a team of field engineers with total station survey equipment to measure the elevation of the pullback track and its feeder tracks. The location of the starting and ending point of the pullback zones, the safety zone and stopping point are recorded, as well as the location of switches, road crossings, mainline track and structures.
Once the data is collected, our engineers input it into a complex braking algorithm calculation model. Developed by RSI, the model has been validated by TUV Rheinland Rail Sciences engineers through actual train stopping data in real world braking tests.
Clients are provided with safety zone stopping distance information for the placement of transponders based on the specific parameters of how many locomotives, type of locomotives, brake valve type and desired maximum tonnage.
Once clients receive their layout plans, the track is commissioned and tested based on the data provided by the braking model. Once tested, we are able to make adjustments in the model if the client finds they need a less conservative plan.
TUV Rheinland Rail Sciences, Inc.
Filed Under: Safety systems + components, Test + measurement • test equipment