NORFOLK, Va., Oct. 11 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Norfolk Southern made railroad history today when it operated the nation's first revenue service train equipped exclusively with electronically controlled pneumatic (ECP) brakes. The train, consisting of three new locomotives and 115 new hybrid coal gondolas, will be used in regular service between coal mines in southwestern Pennsylvania and the Keystone Generating Station in Shelocta, Pa.
ECP brakes have the potential to reduce train stopping distances by as much as 60 percent over conventional air brake systems. ECP brakes utilize electronic signals to simultaneously apply and release throughout the length of a freight train. This differs from conventional brake systems in which each car brakes individually as air pressure moves in a series from car to car.
The Federal Railroad Administration has authorized Norfolk Southern and BNSF Railway Company to equip and test certain locomotives and freight cars with ECP brakes for their potential to shorten stopping distances and improve railroad and public safety, network capacity and efficiency, asset utilization, fuel savings and equipment maintenance.
Over the next several months, Norfolk Southern will equip 30 locomotives, 210 quick-drop coal hoppers and 230 hybrid gondolas with ECP brakes for use in dedicated coal train service. Working with NS are the locomotive supplier General Electric, the ECP brake system provider New York Air Brake and the rail car provider Freight Car America.
Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE:NSC) is one of the nation's premier transportation companies. Its Norfolk Southern Railway subsidiary operates approximately 21,000 route miles in 22 states, the District of Columbia and Ontario, Canada, serving every major container port in the eastern United States and providing superior connections to western rail carriers. Norfolk Southern operates the most extensive intermodal network in the East and is North America's largest rail carrier of metals and automotive products.
Source: Norfolk Southern
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