A Different Kind of Safety or the Speed of Change?

PST CEO Rushi Patel was feature in Progressive Railroading Magazine, discussing the increased national focus on rail safety.

Everything changed this year. The rail industry has been in the news more than ever, and the focus has been safety.

Rushi Patel, PST CEO

The idea of rail “safety” has rapidly expanded to include so much more than simply having rail employees arrive home every night. It’s about protecting employees, the communities, and the businesses we serve or as a guest while we roll through the country. The Industry and its trusted partners are being compelled to provide a strong response to recent events.

The beauty is, as an industry, we can respond with a level of power and capability that the rail industry has never been able to before.

This response capability is what excites myself and my teams.

The difference is that the technology we use is more than transactional, it’s becoming conversational. By conversational, I mean that we can engage the technology with questions surrounding intent: “What is the desired outcome?” This is very different than a Google search looking for a “thing.”

For example, just a few short years ago, we began investigating if our simulation systems could help us build safer trains. At first, the systems would alert us to “problem spots” in a consist after we had data from an event recorder. But then the “what-if” questions started flying around. Expanded capabilities meant we needed more data. So, we funneled in more data. The system became predictive, meaning we could request a consist of 5,700 feet with every car in the consist specified, and the system would tell us where to double-check points in the consist that appeared to be at-risk.

Rushi Patel featured in Progressive Railroading Magazine discussing new safety initiatives in the industryNow a short while later, the system is prescriptive, recommending power placement, car placement within consists, and speed changes while enroute to reduce as much risk as possible while maximizing consist effectiveness and safety.

The trains are now safer, and what’s more, one railroad reported annual savings approaching  100’s of millions in cost avoidance due to operational improvements.

Our excitement is growing now that we see the potential for other solutions we provide.

I’d like to share what other things we’re working on for rail operations. Let’s talk.

~Rushi Patel


Safety Advisory 2023-03 regarding Accident Mitigation and Train Length


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