ERIE, Pa.--()--Lorenzo Simonelli, President and CEO of GE Transportation (NYSE: GE), today applauded the demonstration of 110 mile per hour rail service between Dwight and Pontiac, Illinois, thanks to a stretch of track and rail crossing upgrades, as well as advanced technology designed by GE Transportation.
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, Federal Railroad Administrator Joe Szabo, Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider, Amtrak Chairman Tom Carper and other elected officials tested out the newly completed track with an inaugural train ride from Joliet to Normal, which is just one segment within the designated Chicago to St. Louis high speed rail corridor. Along this route, speeds are being increased to 110 miles per hour between Dwight and Pontiac.
The ability to travel safely at 110 miles per hour was made possible by GE’s Incremental Train Control System (ITCS), which was installed in Illinois and developed by GE Transportation with assistance from Amtrak, IDOT and FRA, along with the cooperation of Union Pacific, which owns the track. ITCS continually monitors the condition of each crossing along the route, and is a full-featured, vital positive train control system with a display in the locomotive control cab.
"We are proud to help introduce the new 110 mph high speed rail service in Illinois,’’ Simonelli said. “GE has had a long and productive partnership with Amtrak, IDOT and FRA and we look forward to deploying this technology in other states to ensure safe, reliable, high speed service. We are committed to providing the latest technology and products to high speed rail programs worldwide as an essential part of sustainable infrastructure growth."
GE Transportation supplied the wayside equipment and software, which receives speed and location information from the train. The ITCS system uses this information to determine when to activate the crossing based on the calculated time that the train will arrive. The system also monitors the crossing location for safety issues, such as a vehicle stuck on a crossing, and can relay this information to the train to slow or stop the train before it reaches the potentially unsafe crossing. The onboard hardware and software supplied by GE contains a track database of the route from start to finish. The ITCS system displays speed commands which the engineer follows for safe operation of the train. However, the system will automatically slow or stop the train if the engineer operates the train above the maximum allowable speed limit, or does not react in time to avert a possible unsafe condition. This system also includes an iNET II Data radio Backbone provided by GE’s Industrial Communications division MDS. This equipment links all the wayside equipment allowing seamless communication along the route.
GE Transportation’s ITCS system, which is also in use along Michigan’s Detroit to Chicago corridor, is the only high-speed crossing activation system available and approved by the Federal Railroad Administration.
About GE Transportation
GE Transportation, a unit of GE (NYSE: GE), solves the world’s toughest transportation challenges. GE Transportation builds equipment that moves the rail, mining and marine industries. Our fuel-efficient and lower-emissions freight and passenger locomotives, diesel engines for rail, marine and stationary power applications, signaling and software solutions, drive systems for mining trucks, underground mining equipment, energy storage systems, and value-added services help customers grow. GE Transportation employs approximately 12,000 employees worldwide.