The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC), has selected the key technology enabler for its Hunter Valley-focused network control optimisation program.

Using an advanced software solution by GE Transportation, Movement Planner, ARTC plans to transform its train control function by integrating and then building on the software which provides real-time rail traffic planning and optimisation to enable freight to move more efficiently.

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 Managing Director and CEO, John Fullerton, said 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.

“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.

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.

Jonathan Vandervoort, Group Executive – Hunter Valley Network, ARTC, said, “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.”

The ‘Network Viewer’ and ‘Network Optimiser’ modules of Movement Planner are to be implemented progressively for the Hunter Valley network throughout 2018 and 2019.

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