The Future of Computer Aided Dispatching

12 February 24

New developments in Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) are primed to be significant game-changers in the North American rail industry.

As railroads continue to compete with other modes of transport for both passengers and freight capacity within a climate of accelerating digital transformation and automation—advancements such as the integration of mobile apps, digitalization of routine processes and the leveraging of third-party data (GPS data, Geo-spatial tools and AI capabilities) can all offer increased efficiencies and operational awareness while also providing points of market differentiation. 
Below is a summary of how Tracsis is enhancing the capabilities of computer-aided train dispatch. 

Innovative Platform 

Tracsis’ CAD system is an innovative platform built to be configurable and scalable to the diverse needs of North America’s railroad operators.

With technology advancements accelerating across all areas of operations—seamless integration with third-party systems and data sources is a pre-requisite to running the rail networks of the future.

Tracsis is pro-active in identifying integrations that add value to our customers and the industry at large.  

Digital Track Warrant (DTW) 

Digital Track Warrant (DTW) is a mobile application developed by Tracsis that provides rail maintenance and construction workers with securely authenticated approval to access safe track points.

Instead of relying on spoken exchanges—which can easily result in misinterpretation—workers receive clear and accurate information via digital communication to select and view their track authority limits.

The DTW app consistently and reliably reduces human error, providing assurance that the dispatcher and the maintenance worker are relying on the same information. 
The benefits of the DTW app include: 

  • Enhanced safety for maintenance workers.

  • Reduced manual paper and radio processes—significantly reducing call volumes into dispatch enabling them to focus on other critical tasks.

  • Greatly decreasing the time required to request and issue track warrants.

  • Increased accuracy and accountability through saved digital documentation.

Watch this short video about how DTW works: 

In development is a DTW application for train crews and other team members working around shops and yards, so they also can realize the same efficiencies from a digitalized process when requesting and managing track authorities.

Tracsis is also working on geofencing to enhance the user experience and correlate data based on the actual location of each user. 

PTC Enabled Systems 

Tracsis’ Interoperable Train Control (ITC)-enabled Back Office System (BOS) complements our well-established Computer Aided Dispatch technology.  

The BOS is compatible with all third-party PTC ITC systems and can replace any existing BOS. Its user-friendly interface can be integrated into any CAD system or any other railroad management information system (MIS). 

Find out how our ITC BOS works. 

Tracsis has provided CAD systems for PTC E-ATC networks that support all common rulesets across North America. Supporting the safety enhancing innovations within PTC ensures that all rail operations can move towards a safer future. 

Advanced CAD in Action: Digital Transformation Case Study 

RTD (Regional Transportation District) provides public transportation in eight counties catering to the transportation needs of more than three million people.

When RTD Denver decided they needed better visibility and control over their light rail network, they asked Tracsis to supply a new Centralized Traffic Control (CTC) Dispatching system. 

The Tracsis DOC® Dispatch CTC system is a cloud-based technology built around a user-friendly graphic interface—which mainline dispatchers utilize to manage dispatcher transfer processes, support multiple railroad rulesets, and manage track protections.  

This advanced CAD system provides RTD Denver’s dispatchers with: 

  • Superior visibility over their rail network 

  • Enhanced schedule performance tracking 

  • Safe and consistent rule set enforcement 

  • Integrated SCADA capabilities 

  • Integration with other rail automation systems  

  • Ability to easily dispatch from one user-friendly platform 

Read the case study here. 

What’s next for railroad technology? 

The digitalization of America’s railroads through AI, big data, and railroad automation will continue to gain momentum in 2024.  

New advancements in Computer-Aided Dispatching will play a significant role—helping to simultaneously improve safety, drive efficiencies, and enable railroad operators to optimize the use of their available systems, data and people.  

Tracsis is the leading provider of software-based rail solutions—trusted by railroads in North America including Class I, passenger and short line operators. Contact us to find out more about the latest developments in Computer Aided Dispatching.