GE Transportation Celebrates 50 years of LOCOTROL®: Driving Throughput and Reliability through Distributed Power
CHICAGO, MAY 14, 2018 — Today GE Transportation (NYSE:GE) is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its patented LOCOTROL® technologies, moving freight worldwide with the industry’s leading Distributed Power control and communication system.
LOCOTROL allows a train engineer to control multiple locomotives that are remotely distributed within a train. The technology provides coordinated braking and traction power, which results in quicker brake applications and releases, as well as improves train handling. These capabilities allow for longer, heavier trains, enhancing throughput and reducing operating costs.
“LOCOTROL is deployed on roughly 20,000 locomotives across 54 customers in 16 countries,” says Laurie Tolson, GE Transportation’s Chief Digital Officer. “It has transformed the industry as a truly locomotive-agnostic system, interfacing with nearly every type of braking system and locomotive control system on diesel-electric and electric locomotives.”
LOCOTROL has the unique distinction of running the world’s longest and heaviest train – approx. 4.5 miles (7.3 kilometers) long, weighing 99,732 tons, with 8 locomotives hauling 682 ore cars – and the solution continues to evolve with new functionality to meet important industry needs.
LOCOTROL is currently in its sixth generation, called LOCOTROL XA for its Expanded Architecture. LOCOTROL XA is architected for the future of digital rail communications and provides benefits such as enhanced diagnostics, increased processing power and improved radio communications to reduce associated train delays. With over 700 units deployed and an additional 1,000 units on order, LOCOTROL XA is backward-compatible and interoperable with previous generations of LOCOTROL solutions.
“As the industry standard, LOCOTROL has become synonymous with distributed power, but the solution enables much more than that,” says Tolson. “We continue to focus on other capabilities supported by the LOCOTROL platform, including Tower Control that increases efficiency at mines and ports, and “Remote Control Locomotives,” or RCL, that improves productivity for yard operations by enabling remote control of heavy haul locomotives in rail yards.”
About GE Transportation
At GE Transportation, we move the world and improve the world. 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. GE Transportation is headquartered in Chicago, IL, and employs approximately 9,000 employees worldwide.