ON AUGUST 22, Union Switch & Signal announced that it had entered into ’one of the largest software agreements in railroad history’, to upgrade train planning and computer-aided dispatching for Union Pacific.

As well as implementing its Next Generation Computer Aided Dispatch System across the 53000 km UP network, US&S will supply its newly-developed real-time Optimizing Traffic Planner software. ’We are pleased to announce the first OTP contract with the largest railroad in North America’, said US&S President & CEO Ken Burk.

Building on experience with the Auto Routing systems introduced by US&S in the late 1980s, OTP is designed to optimise train movements to meet a rail operator’s logistics and operating needs as well as its business objectives. The problem-solving engine will generate multiple train movement plans for all trains scheduled to operate in a given period and select the best for implementation.

Using updated information received from the field, the system will generate revised plans in real time, reacting to adverse weather conditions, train delays and any other unexpected events.