Railroad leaders gather to exchange experiences, address longer trains, changing car mix and evolving train control automation

WATERTOWN, NY – Operating longer trains while reducing fuel and equipment costs is essential to today’s railroads. It’s also one of the primary reasons executives from three continents, including senior leadership from four Class 1s in North America, along with mining railroads, came together for New York Air Brake’s (NYAB) LEADER® Users Conference, a multiday event in Texas. Participants met to discuss pertinent industry trends, share best practices, and learn firsthand about advancements in the company’s robust LEADER technology and its long-term roadmap.

NYAB’s LEADER (Locomotive Engineer Assist/Display & Event Recorder) is a proven on-board train control and energy management system. It offers unmatched in-train force management capabilities.

“The NYAB product development and service strategy is deeply rooted in serving our customers to our fullest ability,” said Jason Connell, New York Air Brake senior vice president of marketing, sales, and service. “Customer feedback continues to be the greatest source of improvement ideas, and the LEADER Users Conference is a premier event that provides a valuable opportunity for all of us to step back from our day-to-day business requirements to share insights, ideas, and feedback surrounding the issues that are most critical to today’s railroads.”

Class 1 and mining railroad attendees heard from speakers covering topics ranging from “train control optimization” to “transformation to increase reliability and productivity.” Dynamic roundtable discussions focused on driving operational efficiency and included debates on Positive Train Control’s (PTC) effect on movement planning, Precision Scheduled Railroading’s (PSR) influence on investment, and LEADER’s impact on train control automation.

NYAB, a North American-based subsidiary of the Munich, Germany-based Knorr-Bremse Group, designed LEADER® to command all four freight train control systems – throttle, dynamic brake, independent brake, and air brakes – providing precise control that conserves fuel and reduces in-train forces.

According to Connell, “With Precision Scheduled Railroading, longer trains with a wider mix of cars, and the march toward automation, controlling in-train forces is more essential than ever. Our customers agree that LEADER’s elegant design and deep integration set it apart as the superior product for train handling in the market today.”

NYAB’s energy management software uses track profile, consist manifests, and GPS data to “look ahead” and calculate the ideal driving strategy in real time to achieve low fuel consumption, at a desired velocity, with minimal in-train forces.

“Safely running long, heavy trains is a topic of great interest in the PSR world, where railroads seek to maximize asset utilization,” stated Deepak Kumar, NYAB director of marketing.  “Customers report they are running longer, heavier trains with no derailments or break-in-twos, and credit LEADER’s ability to accurately predict run-in and run-out impacts – and take action in realtime to minimize in-train forces, regardless of power distribution or consist.”

LEADER is deployed on more than 5,000 locomotives worldwide. The system is part of the range of NYAB technology and innovation focused on delivering unequaled reliability, performance, and return on investment.


About New York Air Brake LLC


New York Air Brake LLC (NYAB), a member of the Knorr-Bremse Group, develops and supplies leading-edge air brake control systems and components, electronically controlled braking systems, foundation brakes, training simulators and train handling systems, and wayside equipment to the rail industry. An industry pioneer since 1890, our over 850 team members have a deep customer commitment that fuels us to deliver solutions for improved rail performance, safety, and overall operating cost. New York Air Brake is headquartered in Watertown, New York, with manufacturing plants in Nixa, Missouri; Riverside, Missouri; Salisbury, North Carolina; West Chicago, Illinois; and Wheatland, Missouri; along with Train Dynamic Systems (TDS), a technology development unit located in Irving, Texas. For more information, visit www.nyab.com.