Yard switch heater and remote control - Amtrak Chicago

Bringing Chicao’s Union Station up-to-date

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Chicago’s Union Station was struggling to manage its busy traffic volumes. The probem was that its technology had become dated over time - so that’s where we stepped in.

RailComm provided a comprehensive solution to remotely control over 200 assets. This included switches, derails, blue flags, and heaters - all operable from multiple locations.

To improve yard fluidity, RailComm radically modified Amtrak’s DOC® control platform. Furthermore, we designed and commissioned a field system to eradicate clearance and other track layout challenges. Importantly, our solution was tailor-made to suit the unique needs of this facility.

System breakdown and benefits

The DOC System is a commercially available and off‐the‐shelf control system. It’s been specifically engineered to provide railroads with the flexibility to remotely control their yard assets. This integrated approach to yard automation allows them to remotely control:

  • Power switches
  • Derails
  • Blue flag operations
  • Manual switch point indicators
  • Switch heaters
  • Alarms
  • Gates and doors

RailComm’s solution now manages all traffic routing in and out of the facility, along with Blue Flag Protection for car and train inspection. Additionally, remote heater control is managed from a centralized location too. This means groups of heaters can be controlled at any time, without personnel having to travel to each location.

Project summary

Solution delivered

By collaborating with different companies, RailComm provided a yard automation system to control:

  • 83 x powered switches
  • 24 x powered derails
  • 91 x blue flag indicators
  • 14 x heater cases
  • 2 x diesel generator locations

Firms involved

  • Kiewit Corporation
  • Mass Electric Construction
  • RailComm, LLC
  • Over $5 million

    Project size

  • Over $105 million

    Total project size