Norfolk Southern Corporation is developing an Optimized Train Control (OTC) system to further improve safety and efficiency on the railroad.

OTC will employ components of several advanced train control technologies, including Positive Train Control, which the National Transportation Safety Board supports as a “most wanted” initiative for transportation safety.

OTC will combine data communications, positioning systems and onboard computers tied to the train’s braking systems. It will automatically enforce speed and operating limits to prevent collisions and other train accidents, provide improved visibility of network conditions, and promote more efficient operations.

“This is a key step in our commitment to use advanced technology in all aspects of operations,” said Wick Moorman, Norfolk Southern president.

“OTC will help provide a safer environment for employees and communities and better handling for customer shipments.”

NS is working with Lockheed-Martin’s Rail and Gravity Programs group, which has taken the lead role in the Federal Railroad Administration’s train control initiative, and GE’s Rail Business group. Together the partners will work with multiple vendors to develop new components and enhance and integrate systems they have been developing over the last decade.

Implementation of the first phase has begun on Norfolk Southern’s line between Charleston and Columbia, SC. Roll-out on other NS lines will follow.