August 6, 2019, 1:21 pm
Wireless Remote Controls for Locomotives - Railyard

 

Wireless Control Solutions Enhance the Safety and Operational Efficiency of Rail Operations  

Author: Jeremy Jovenall, Global Product Manager for Rail Solutions

A rail yard is made up of a complex network of tracks, locomotives and rail cars used for storing, sorting, and loading/unloading cargo. Although no two yards are alike, efficiently transporting cargo throughout this network, while keeping rail workers safe is a top priority. Class I Freight, Shortline, Regional and Plant Railroads rely on wireless remote control solutions to minimize risk to workers while increasing the operational efficiency of the rail yard.

The use of wireless remote control systems to operate locomotives enhances worker safety, improves productivity and communication in the rail yard and expands the pool of applicants for recruitment activities.  Remote control systems have been in use for many years and have contributed to the overall decline in rail yard accidents involving workers.

Remote control systems replace the hand signals that yard workers use to communicate with a wireless controller that connects them to the locomotive and other workers in the yard. RC operation puts the operator in control of their own safety by giving the person who is potentially in a risky location the ability to command the locomotive movement. This is particularly important when the operator is in the red zone. Additional safety features protect workers, such as tilt protection, which automatically switches the locomotive into emergency status if the system detects that the Operator Control Unit has been tilted beyond a certain threshold for too long. 

Once implemented, remote control systems enable a one or two-person crew to easily and efficiently move locomotives throughout the rail yard. This increases the overall efficiency of workers in the rail yard and provides a quicker return on investment in remote control. Additionally, remote control systems are highly configurable, enabling rail yards to customize the system to their unique needs.

Speed Control Systems have a positive impact on recruiting efforts for rail yards, which is often a challenge. Operator Control Units have an ergonomic design, configured with simple switches and buttons, making it very easy to use. Workers do not require as much training to operate, nor does a worker need to be a dedicated locomotive engineer to use the Operator Control Unit. This expands the field of applicants, improving the success rate of recruiting activities. 

Whether a rail operation moves materials across the country or across the yard, Cattron provides the comprehensive remote control solutions that improve efficiency and safety. Contact a solution expert today to explore the right solution for your rail yard.