GE Transportation inks software deal in Australia

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A dispatcher using GE software to control trains in Australia.
CHICAGO — Australia’s largest rail freight network operator, the Australian Rail Track Corp., has selected GE Transportation's Movement Planner solution as the key technology enabler for its Hunter Valley-focused network control optimization program.

ARTC’s Newcastle, New South Wales,-based network control, is the nerve center of Hunter Valley rail operations, where locally based train control professionals make thousands of decisions every day to safely support the annual movement of more than 24,000 tons of freight per hour, and tens of thousands of coal, freight, grain and passenger trains each year.

ARTC plans to transform its train control function by integrating and then building on Movement Planner, an advanced software solution by GE Transportation that provides real-time rail traffic planning and optimization to enable freight to move more efficiently.

“The Hunter Valley rail network is one of the busiest and most complex in the country, supporting the largest coal export port in the world,” ARTC Managing Director and CEO John Fullerton said.

“As bulk freight demands grow, rail operators like ARTC and supply chains like the Hunter Valley coal network need to be creative in the way they respond so the Australian economy doesn’t miss out. That’s why we have conducted a world-wide search to find globally proven solutions that will improve our network productivity and efficiency,” Fullerton said.

The Movement Planner solution considers multiple factors including train schedules, traffic-control systems and train movements relative to each other and then develops an optimized traffic plan for the trains throughout the network. Existing GE customers have benefited from increased visibility of network operations, higher velocity, less dwell times, and improved on-time performance across their networks.

ARTC’s ANCO program aims to use real-time network and train data to enable faster, more informed decisions to better manage train flow and all other activities on track while reducing complexity and coordination across its network.

“Working closely with our customers, we have a strong focus on driving and improving network performance that benefits the entire supply chain. Through the ARTC Network Control Optimization program, the Movement Planner solution will allow us to improve transport capacity and efficiency, and provide better service performance,” said Jonathan Vandervoort, group executive — Hunter Valley Network, ARTC.

“Rail operators face efficiency and productivity challenges today. Here, Digital is a game changer,” said Claire Pierce, commercial leader for GE Transportation in Australia and New Zealand. “Together, GE Transportation and ARTC have the opportunity to bring forward the next frontier of streamlined and expanded throughput from the Hunter Valley coal chain.”

“GE is honored to partner with ARTC to accelerate the implementation of the ANCO project and deliver the operational efficiency and effectiveness its stakeholders demand,” said Laurie Tolson, Chief Digital Officer for GE Transportation.

The "Network Viewer" and "Network Optimizer" modules of Movement Planner are to be implemented progressively for the Hunter Valley network throughout 2018 and 2019 to improve network velocity, capacity, and on-time performance across the network.

— A GE Transportation news release. Dec. 7, 2017.

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