CANAC may market over-the-road remote control units in U.S.

In the August 12 issue of the Pittsburgh Business Times magazine, an executive vice president of CANAC said his company may some day market remote control technology to U.S. railroads for use in over the road train movements.

However, the article stated that CANAC, a major manufacturer of locomotive remote control technology, is concentrating on marketing its units for rail-yard operations - for now.

The article was based on an interview with Kevin Haugh, CANAC's executive vice president and chief commercial officer.

According to the article, CANAC's BeltPack units, "(C)ould even be used in the future to operate locomotive trains as they travel the country's railways, not just its rail yards. However, a number of hurdles would have to be crossed, such as how railroads would protect road crossings, before that would become a reality, Mr. Haugh said."

Haugh said the firm spent about $5 million on U.S. marketing of its BeltPack units over the past five years. He also said CANAC hopes to sell 2,000 BeltPack systems - about 500 systems a year - over the next four to five years. Each system costs from $100,000 to $135,000.

Haugh said in the article that remote control locomotive technology could generate savings of as much as $250 million a year in personnel, productivity and safety expenses for Class 1 operators.

Douglas Sizemore, vice president and chief mechanical officer for Kansas City Southern, was also interviewed for the same article. He said the KCS has been satisfied with its BeltPack units.

"It's going to be part of our core operation as we move forward," Sizemore is quoted in the article. "It would be my personal opinion that most large railroads will eventually employ (remote control technology)."


© 2002 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers