Positive Train Control Answer to U.S. Railway Woes
WASHINGTON, DC, 15-NOV-00 -- A paper delivered today at the 22nd Annual Lockheed Martin Technology Symposium finds that the U.S. railroad infrastructure is a sleeping giant that can be awakened with the application of advanced technologies and proven systems development and integration methodologies. According to Dr. Francesco Pellegrino, the Lockheed Martin master engineer who authored the paper delivered at the National Press Club, modernization of the U.S. railways can lead to a significant increase in national productivity. While instant access to information about goods and services is now readily available over the Internet, their delivery is still limited by the speed and reliability of available modes of transportation, said Pellegrino. An increase in the efficiency by just a few percent can have a significant impact on the productivity of a system that provides transportation to over 20 million passengers and handles two billion tons of freight each year.
The integration of Positive Train Control (PTC) into the U.S. rail infrastructure can also bring about significant improvements in safety, track capacity, schedule reliability and high-speed passenger train service in this country.
While a strong case for large-scale use of PTC has emerged, its implementation faces several challenges, he said, particularly in the areas of safety, systems development/integration, command and control architecture, train location accuracy and cost effectiveness.
Pellegrino stated that such concerns could be overcome by a successful PTC solution that features a non-proprietary, open systems architecture, and commercial-off-the-shelf based design approach that will help keep costs down while bringing about significant improvements. He added that this approach to railroad modernization is designed to significantly decrease train-to-train collisions and lead to safer highway-rail crossings.
The time is right for our nation's railways to experience a renaissance through technological advancement, concluded Pellegrino. Positive Train Control promises to usher in a new golden age for U.S. rail transportation.
Lockheed Martin received a $34 million contract to lead one of the first upgrades of U.S. railways in the country using PTC technology. In June 2000, Lockheed Martin was awarded the contract for the Illinois Department of Transportation Positive Train Control Project, a joint initiative of the Association of American Railroads, the Federal Railroad Administration, and the Illinois Department of Transportation.
The initiative involves the application of such advanced technologies as digital data communications, accurate positioning systems, wayside interface units, on-board and control center computers, and other advanced display, sensor, and control technologies. Spearheading this effort are the Lockheed Martin Naval Electronics & Surveillance Systems-Undersea Systems businesses in Mitchel Field, NY, and Manassas, VA.
Lockheed Martin is committed to successful implementation of PTC technology nationwide, commented Frank DeBritz, president of Naval Electronics & Surveillance Systems-Undersea Systems. Lockheed Martin's expertise in sophisticated command, control, computer and communications systems, open system architecture design and use of commercial-off-the-shelf technology establishes the company as a viable partner for updating our nation's railways.
Lockheed Martin Naval Electronics & Surveillance Systems is a leader in developing and integrating complex systems for domestic and international military, civil government and commercial customers. With headquarters in Bethesda, MD, Lockheed Martin Corporation's (NYSE:LMT) business areas include Aeronautics, Global Telecommunications, Space Systems, Systems Integration, and Technology Services.