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Wednesday, October 07, 2009

NMRX enhances safety with new signaling system

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Various construction crews are working on the last 13 miles of railroad track in the New Mexico Rail Runner Express corridor replacing the train's current system of signals with a new Centralized Traffic Control System. The CTC will assist train dispatchers in moving trains more efficiently, thus enhancing the safety of the corridor while also improving on-time performance for the New Mexico Rail Runner Express.

"This CTC system addresses on-time performance, but even more so - it's about safety", says Lawrence Rael, executive director for the Mid-Region Council of Governments. "Much like traffic signals in a roadway system that keep traffic flowing smoothly, the synchronized signals in this new system are designed to create greater safety in the corridor."

This last stretch of track between Griegos Road in Albuquerque's north valley and the Town of Bernalillo has been operating using a signal system that is based on old technology that consists of many relays, miles of pole line and other equipment that is being replaced with the next generation of safety-enhanced equipment. 

While the existing signaling system provided safety in the corridor, the new CTC equipment provides a modernized signaling update. The CTC allows train dispatch to know exactly where all trains in the corridor, which is a vast improvement over the old system from a safety and train control perspective. It also provides an improved information environment for train dispatch, operators and maintenance crews in the event an issue is identified because problems can be diagnosed, located and addressed more quickly

The CTC signaling project is scheduled for completion by the end of October.

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