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GE Transportation Introduces Connection Family of Positive Train Control Products at Rail Exhibition


Nashville, Tenn. – GE Transportation, a unit of the General Electric Company, announced today that it has launched the Connection line of Positive Train Control (PTC) compliant products for rail networks operating in the United States.

With the signing of the Rail Safety Improvement Act by President George W. Bush in October 2008, the railroad industry will need to be PTC-compliant throughout the United States by 2015. According to the Act, there are four events that railroads must prevent with a PTC system:

* train to train collisions
* over speed derailments
* incursions into established work zone limits
* movement of a train through a switch left in the improper position

This means upgrades for approximately 100,000 miles of track, close to 90% of the total rail network, and 17,000 locomotives to make North American railroads PTC ready. Today, there are more than 100,000 wayside signal devices alone on rail lines throughout the U.S and Canada. In some cases, larger railroads will need to add PTC functionality to several wayside locations per day, every day, just to meet the mandate within the specified timeframe.

Also the Act calls for an interoperability requirement from rail line to rail line, meaning that the entire U.S. rail network must be able to communicate via the same protocol.

The Connection portfolio will allow for interoperability by including products and services to assist railroads with PTC compliance including upgrades to locomotive onboard equipment, wayside devices, back office control centers, communications infrastructure as well as complete service and installation.

“Due to the number of track miles and communications methods and devices that are affected by PTC, the railroads require innovative and elegant solutions to implement PTC functionality,” said Pierre Comte, President GE Transportation Global Signaling. “With the Connection portfolio of products, our goal is to assist the railroads in complying with the mandate through simplicity of technology and speed of implementation while leveraging their existing investments.”

Added Comte: “The breadth of GE’s Connection portfolio of products will provide the industry with a menu approach for a variety of solutions throughout the process of design, selection and implementation.”

To share information on PTC, GE has created an online industry forum for railroad and supplier personnel to discuss the initiative, including Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) rulings as well as best practice sharing, at The Company has also developed a site that will act as a continually updated center for PTC information at

GE Transportation made the announcement at the Railway System Suppliers exhibition in Nashville, Tenn., at the Gaylord Resort and Conference Center. The exhibition is occurring now through Wednesday, May 20.


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