OmniTRAX’s Illinois Railway Deploys Positive Train Control To Bolster Safety and Customer Service

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DENVER –Illinois Railway, LLC (IR), operated by OmniTRAX, Inc., one of the fastest growing transportation companies in North America, is one of the first short line railroads to implement fully functional positive train control (PTC) and enable state-of-the-art safety on its trains. The IR has installed PTC equipment on three locomotives to maintain inter-operability with similar technology used by BNSF and Metra trains operating on part of Metra’s busiest commuter territory between Aurora and Eola, IL.

The IR was awarded a grant by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) for 70 percent of the PTC deployment cost. The grant was reflective of the FRA’s drive to deploy safety measures that have an immediate constructive impact on the nation’s railroad infrastructure.

“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,” said OmniTRAX CEO Kevin Shuba.

The IR’s PTC system, which took less than a year from grant award to deployment, constantly monitors numerous locomotives, track and train network variables. While in PTC territory, the technology communicates with BNSF track wayside units and acts to prevent speed violations and collisions.

“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,” said Sergio Sabatini, Chief Operating Officer at OmniTRAX.

The PTC solution deployed by the IR was supported by Wabtec, which provided the hardware, configuration, installation, lab and field testing and training for the project.