PS Technology (PST) recently released Precision Train Builder™, which is designed for analyzing derailments and improving the safety of train operations by physically accurate simulation. Precision Train Builder (PTB) was created to close the existing gaps in on-demand incident analysis and forward-looking scenario building.
PTB scientifically addresses essential needs of railroads in the following ways:
- Post-derailment and break-in-two analysis.
- Predictive analysis and consist comparison for vetting train management rulesets.
- Prescriptive recommendations for consist building based on route, weather, bulletins, slow orders and more.
PTB was developed with three functioning modules: E•R Analyzer™, PTB Validator™, and PTB Monitor™.
Rapidly changing markets and engagement of Precision Scheduled Railroading (PSR) initiatives has led to longer trains and increasing manifest train runs.
The variety of train length, car weights, proliferation of cushioned couplers, car placement and train-builds for maximizing switching efficiencies enroute is creating new problems, such as break-in-twos, derailments and stalls (loss of track adhesion for power). All of these have significant safety, economic and operational concerns.
PST developed a comprehensive physics-based simulation engine that goes much deeper into train behavior. The PST solution calculates physical interactions on a car-by-car basis. Then, like the real-world, this one-car instance and behavior is added to the next car and so on.
Forensic Analysis – E•R Analyzer
Initially, the first outcome of the PST physics-engine capability was to perform post-incident analysis. For these operations, in addition to loading the GIS route data and consist data, the actual Event Recorder data is also loaded. Then the analysis is performed.
Results began to emerge indicating that manifest trains, built within TMS rulesets, could still exceed allowable in-train forces depending on terrain.
TMS Vetting – PTB Validator
Following outcomes from the forensic analysis, attention was turned to creating an ability to test assumptions built into TMS rulesets for prescriptive utilization. This may have the dual benefit of improving safety analysis prior to trains running as well as potentially revealing ways to increase asset utilization via weight or speed changes.
Active Monitoring – PTB Monitor
Extending the TMS vetting to the next logical need was as a predictive toolset. This includes active monitoring during multiple points in a train’s journey with more simulations being run after each work event. This creates scientifically based opportunities to reduce the likelihood of inadvertent consist placements resulting in sub-optimal.