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Canadian Pacific Selects GE Transportation’s Trip Optimizer; Locomotive Fuel Savings of 6-10% in Testing

Following operational testing, Canadian Pacific Railway Limited will equip 200 locomotives with GE Transportation’s Trip Optimizer fuel savings system in the product’s first commercial deployment. Trip Optimizer is an advanced energy management system that optimizes fuel consumption based on a specific train’s makeup and the route being traveled.

The system calculates a fuel optimal speed profile for the trip and then automatically controls the throttle to maintain that planned speed. Trip Optimizer uses GPS, a digital track database and advanced algorithms that automatically learn the train’s characteristics throughout the trip to achieve the fuel savings.

The system evaluates train length, weight, grade, track conditions, weather and locomotive performance to calculate the most efficient way of running the train while maintaining smooth train handling. Operation of Trip Optimizer is similar to the autopilot feature in today’s jetliners. Train crews retain responsibility for safe operation of the train and can engage or disengage the system at any time.

Trip Optimizer was tested on 18 CP-owned GE Evolution Series locomotives. The pilot testing was conducted in three subdivisions that have significantly different geographical characteristics including mountainous regions in British Columbia, the Saskatchewan prairies and undulating, winding track in Northern Ontario. More than 500 train starts and 50,000 revenue miles were accumulated during the test.

Results measured by CP on intermodal freight of various train lengths have shown a fuel savings ranging from 6% to more than 10% depending on territory.

—Pierre Comte, President GE Transportation Intelligent Control Systems

Trip Optimizer can now be deployed fleet-wide on GE Evolution Series Locomotives as a turnkey system. The product can also be combined with a full suite of fuel savings products from GE, including LOCOTROL Distributed Power, for more savings. Additional versions of Trip Optimizer for use on other locomotive types will be available beginning in 2010.

Currently, other pilots are being conducted in various global regions including bulk commodity testing that is showing even greater fuel savings. If every train in North America used Trip Optimizer it would save approximately 630 million gallons of fuel per year—the equivalent of eliminating more than one million cars from the road, according to GE

More than 3200 Evolution locomotives are currently operating in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, China, Mongolia, Australia, Kazakhstan and Egypt, and approximately 17,000 GE locomotives are in use in more than 50 countries around the world.

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