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Norfolk Railway on track

Supplier: Wonderware Australia
24 October, 2012

Norfolk Southern Railway Company continues the legacy of rail transportation as the fourth largest railroad in the world. It operates more than 21,500 route miles in 22 states as well as in Ontario, Canada.

Wonderware software is used to manage operations at the railroad company's "hump" yard in Columbus, Ohio.

A hump yard is a regional gathering point where freight is classified and forwarded to final destinations. The process of joining the right train cars to the right engines takes place in three areas: a receiving yard, a classification yard in which railcars are pushed over a "hump" to various classification tracks, and a forwarding yard.

Norfolk Southern Railway uses a supervisory HMI software solution from Wonderware to communicate vital information about its train cars at its Buckeye Hump Yard.

"Wonderware's industrial computer line has been a great fit for Trainyard Tech's systems integration operations," Darren Kline, marketing manager for Q-Mation, said.

Wonderware's local distributor, has been providing Trainyard Tech with support and services since the beginning of the project.

"Wonderware's panel PCs get used in various areas in the control room, but the tablet PC is perfect for this type of environment. Railyards have a very distributed area in which people managing operations need to be able to control things from out in the field."

Reduced development time

Trainyard Tech has realised substantial savings in development time on implementing engineering projects like this one.

"The most intriguing thing about the Wonderware system is that you can basically do anything you want," Niemiec said.

"Whatever problem you'd like to solve, Wonderware's graphical HMI allows you to do it. Using InTouch as the front-end to the process control system, we've enabled Norfolk Southern Railway to provide critical information to the yardmaster who is the primary user of the system. Online help screens also are available which enables shorter training times.

"Using the InTouch package, we've reduced our development time for the HMI probably 40 to 50 per cent."

Having worked on the train yards since the mid-1970s, Trainyard Tech's leaders have decided on a company slogan of "Keep Em Rolling".

With the help of Wonderware's supervisory HMI software solution, both Trainyard Tech and Norfolk Southern's Buckeye Hump Station is expected to do just that.

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Norfolk Railway on Track