System and method for automatic train operation

  • US 6,135,396 A
  • Filed: 02/06/1998
  • Issued: 10/24/2000
  • Est. Priority Date: 02/07/1997
  • Status: Expired due to Term
First Claim
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1. A system for controlling the operation of plural unmanned railway freight trains operating over a predetermined track layout, said trains being dynamically scheduled to operate over plural alternative routes between plural destinations within said track layout, and said track layout including plural switches which alter the path of trains running along said track layout, said system comprising:

  • means for generating a movement plan by scheduling plural freight trains to operate at desired times between plural destinations within said track layout, said movement plan providing for the safe operation of the trains by eliminating conflicts in the use of particular portions of said track layout by different trains;

    means for dynamically commanding said freight trains to carry out the movement plan, said commanding means including the wireless transmission of speed commands for at least a portion of the transmission path from a central location to said trains;

    means for determining the location of each of said trains along the track layout;

    means for communicating said determined location to said means for dynamically commanding, said means including wireless transmission of said determined location;

    means for commanding wayside resources to carry out the movement plan, said commanding means including the wireless transmission of wayside resource commands for at least a portion of the transmission path from the central location to said wayside resources;

    means for determining the state of each of said wayside resources; and

    ,means for communicating said determined state to said means for dynamically commanding, said means including wireless transmission of said determined state;

    whereby the operation of said trains along said track layout is dynamically controlled by said means for dynamically commanding.

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