Yard automation - BNSF Alliance

Revolutionising the routing through Powder River Basin

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One of the main switching and maintenance facilities on the coal route from the Powder River Basin region was in need dire need of an update. Unfortunately, this control system had become unsupported and obsolete over time - so we stepped in to help.

To do so, RailComm replaced the old, basic routing solution with our modernized DOC® system. This provides routing in and out from both ends of the yard. Not only that, it automates the blue flag protection process as well

RailComm’s Blue Flag Protection system allows BNSF to automatically apply and remove BFI’s. And when operated in conjunction with the yard remote control system, it actually blocks tracks to avoid routes being lined over them. Importantly, the system can handle multiple user protections on multiple tracks - enhancing efficiency and safety.

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

This solution saves time, resources and, crucially, increases employee safety.

Project summary

Solution delivered

RailComm provided a yard automation system to control a combination of:

  • 72 x powered switches
  • 14 x powered derails
  • 67 x blue flag indicators

Firms involved

  • RailComm, LLC
  • Over $0.5 million

    Project size