Projections based off current freight rail growth suggest freight traffic will increase 90% by 2035. Although the rails need to accommodate for this growth, there is still only so much space to expand the rails. GE has been creating solutions to reduce traffic between freight cars and reduce the projected increase in pollution. GE’s Trip Optimizer system strives to use data affiliated with existing train types and train rails to reduce fuel efficiency. Most emissions in freight rails coming from speed variations and standing trains and Trip Optimizer seeks focus on constant, consistent travel, rather than speed, which can lead to traffic jams and track holdups. The Trip Optimizer system studies the typical speeds of engineers on routes and then takes the chooses more gradual changes in speed for the same routes. This reduces average moving time speed, but significantly reduces waiting time and energy used.
This technology communicates with GE’s RailEdge technology. This technology communicates with other trains in the network to avoid intersections and traffic jams. This system is made to compensate for any speed lost from the Trip Optimizer. The CEO of GE Transportation explains, “RailEdge optimizes the railroad resources that are already in place — something that only technology can truly help us achieve.” Through these systems freight routes and exact speeds are determined and given to the engineers onboard live.