By STEPHEN RODRIGUEZAPAPublished Aug 09, 2018 05:59:30As the United States gears up for its busiest winter, a new technology is changing how railroad companies operate.
A switchback rail line connecting the state of Utah to California was installed in December.
It connects Salt Lake City to the Los Angeles area, allowing the railroads to switch back from rail to rail during the winter.
“We’re in a very transition environment, where we’re seeing this shift to rail that’s not only about speed and convenience but also about saving time,” said Jim Dorn, vice president of engineering and systems for the Utah Railroad, the state’s largest rail operator.
“This is not something that we’re just going to sit back and let.”
The Utah switchback line was built in collaboration with the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, which has been testing technology to move rail during winter.
Railroads have also been experimenting with a new method to move cars and trucks around during the year.
The Utah Switchback Line was built with the support of the National Transportation Safety Board.
It was installed as part of a $3.6 billion modernization program that was approved by Congress in March 2018.
The goal is to save about 30 minutes on rail traffic.
The goal is also to reduce CO2 emissions by about 3,000 metric tons per year.
“What we’re trying to do is not only make it quicker, but it’s also going to save time,” Dorn said.
“We’re not just going in and building one piece, we’re going to build this.”
The new technology uses sensors that monitor the railcars’ position, which helps them to know when to switch.
The sensors also allow railroads and truck drivers to coordinate to move trains through narrow, busy areas.
Railroad crews use a remote-control system to turn the rails back and forth during wintertime.
They also use GPS, laser-tracking cameras and cameras mounted on the tracks.
The railroads also have cameras mounted at each trainyard, which help determine the speed at which a train is moving and whether it is moving through narrow areas or more open areas.
The new systems also help railroad operators maintain a low carbon footprint.
The switchback and railroads are also working on new ways to connect the rails during winter and during the summer, Dorn added.
“It will allow us to have a more consistent service, to be able to move freight to different parts of the country, which is very important during the fall and winter,” he said.
The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that the switchback is the busiest rail line in the country.
The Utah Switchbacks are expected to be the busiest train in the U.s. for a year.