Remote control system enhancing rail efficiencies

26th July 2018
Alex Lynn

It has been announced that Laird Controls has launched a new portable remote control system that enables rail operators to use a handheld remote controller to move locomotives with ease and confidence throughout their operations.

The new quick connect system, Transport QC, enables a single worker to use the wireless remote control system to pilot a locomotive through a rail yard, as opposed to three people in a work crew. Using the new remote control system aims to simultaneously bolster worker safety, boost productivity, and enhance rail operator profitability. And, because it is a quick connect system, Transport QC can be easily moved from locomotive to locomotive, improving operational efficiency.

Ryan Wooten, Laird Controls Vice President and General Manager, stated: “As a long-time partner of Class I, II and III railroads, locomotive OEMs and industrial rail operators on a global basis, we have developed a deep level of specialised knowledge in the design, development, and effective implementation of wireless remote control solutions in a variety of railyards. Our products maximise safety and improve productivity of rail operations.”

In 2017 alone, nearly 4,200 railroad workers in the United States were injured on the job, according to the Federal Railroad Administration, which also reports that since 2013, more than 60 railroad workers in the U.S. have been killed while on duty.

Transport QC is reportedly a lightweight, compact system that securely contains all hardware and components in a single enclosure. Its portability enables greater flexibility when planning for maintenance, and it improves rail operators’ capital investment by eliminating per locomotive cost requirements.

The system can be configured for various options, such as radio frequency communication, proportional train brake control, digital talkback, wireless 4G capabilities, two-way RF communication, and enhanced safety alerts. A number of self-monitoring features also are built in to minimise the reliance on operator intervention.

Wooten added: “We designed Transport QC with the durability to thrive in the harsh environment of the industrial rail operations. There are a variety of controller options available to operators, designed to simplify the user experience and streamline the adoption of the system. This next-gen design enhancement will enable our systems to continue being the most sought after RCL system for industrial rail applications globally.”

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