Rail transportation is one of the most environmentally friendly and energy efficient means of transportation for both passengers and freight. However, there are opportunities to improve upon these benefits and to extend their impact by further improving the efficiency and reducing the emissions associated with rail transportation and by increasing the proportion of our freight and passenger traffic which is moved by rail. Electronically Controlled Pneumatic (ECP) Brake Systems show great promise for improving the operating efficiency and capacity of the railroad network. However these benefits cannot be realized unless entire trains, including locomotives, are equipped with ECP brakes. ECP brakes are currently incompatible with conventional brakes. There is a need for the development and application of cost effective adapters or emulators which will enable ECP equipped and conventional equipment to operate in the same train. The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is interested developing and demonstrating new and emerging technologies which support these goals. Successful proposals will need to include a limited lifecycle cost/benefit analysis to demonstrate the likelihood of a positive return on investment for implementation once commercialized.
Expected Phase I Outcomes:
Outcomes expected from the Phase I include a detail concept that demonstrates the feasibility of developing a prototype that satisfies the attributes described above.
Expected Phase II Outcomes:
Phase 2 efforts include the manufacturing, demonstration and/or integration of the prototype system into a locomotive for real world testing.