- Global search for technology solution to boost Hunter rail operations
- Newcastle-based train control centre oversees 24,000 tonnes of freight per hour
Chicago and Newcastle (NSW), December 6, 2017 – Australia’s largest rail freight network operator, the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC), has selected GE Transportation's (NYSE:GE) Movement Planner solution as the key technology enabler for its Hunter Valley-focused network control optimisation program.
ARTC’s Newcastle-based network control, is the nerve centre 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 tonnes 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 optimisation 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,” Mr. 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 optimised 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 Optimisation 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 honoured 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 Optimiser’ 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.
About Movement Planner
Movement Planner is a network planning system for railroad traffic control. Leveraging multiple data sources such as train schedules, train movements and network topology, Movement Planner can produce an optimized traffic plan for the entire rail network. Utilizing real-time data and a physics-based Train Performance Calculator, Movement Planner detects network disruptions and evaluates the impact of corrective actions by comparing projected Estimated Time of Arrivals for affected trains.
About GE Transportation
At GE Transportation, we are in the business of realizing potential. We are a global technology leader and supplier of equipment, services and solutions to the rail, mining, marine, stationary power and drilling industries. Our innovations help customers deliver goods and services with greater speed and savings using our advanced manufacturing techniques and connected machines. Our digital solutions provide data-driven insights to improve efficiency. Established more than a century ago, GE Transportation is a division of the General Electric Company that began as a pioneer in passenger and freight locomotives. That innovative spirit still drives GE Transportation today and is strengthened by our ability to serve customers more holistically through the GE Store – a global exchange of knowledge, technology and tools across all GE businesses that ultimately provides better outcomes for customers. GE Transportation is headquartered in Chicago, IL, and employs approximately 10,000 employees worldwide.
We are Australia’s largest freight rail network operator with nearly 20 years of experience in operating, maintaining and building rail infrastructure. We were established to modernise rail in Australia.
Our vision is to make rail the mode of choice in the national logistics chain and our experienced team has delivered billions of dollars’ worth of investment to revive our rail network, providing the transport and logistics industry with a safe and reliable network in support of the many industries Australia’s economy relies on.
ARTC’s Hunter Valley Network moves coal, general freight, bulk freight and passenger services across more than 240 trains per day – making it one of the busiest rail networks in the country – and we are committed to continuously investing and upgrading our network performance to create value for the users of our network.