Operations

Princeton Consultants helps clients boost asset utilization, network efficiency and operational effectiveness through strategic and tactical planning, and through the development of operational systems and applications to assist executive decision making.

Transportation

We transform distribution and dispatch processes through the development of custom solutions, and through assessments of planning and real-time decision making.

Successes

  • For North America’s largest owner and manager of rail cars, we developed the landmark system to track and distribute more than 30 different fleets for loading, shop and storage. 
  • Evaluation of dispatch and a roadmap to modernize and transform processes and systems for a Class I railroad, which included an executive assessment, systems integration, disaster recovery plan, dispatch monitoring, and a field code and OCG emulator.
  • Strategic roadmap for the future state of dispatch operations for a Class I railroad, with detailed recommendations. 

Operations Improvement

We assist strategic transformation initiatives and conduct market analyses, best-practices enablement and industry reviews.

Successes

  • Tactical and what-if scenario analysis tool to optimize empty automotive railcar flows.
  • A process review of high-value, re-conditionable rail car components, which identified gaps and reengineered processes, and yielded savings of millions of dollars in lost inventory annually.
  • We assist planning, capacity and execution at rail terminals as follows: conducted a study—including process maps, technology fulfillment, cost-benefit analysis and vendor assessment—of next-generation operational processes and requirements, selected technologies, and exploration of various implementation strategies for a Class I railroad; development of train planning systems, based on proprietary optimization technology; and best-practice operational processes and systems study of intermodal and automotive terminals.
  • Efficiency analysis for an agribusiness with a private rail network to improve timeliness and frequency of service—an optimization model demonstrated the company could improve operating efficiency by approximately 12% with the same personnel and with 11% fewer railcars.

Positive Train Control

Princeton Consultants is helping railroads meet the mandated requirements of this safety initiative through systems integration, superior testing in the field and back office, custom communications solutions, and advisory services.

Successes

  • As PTC systems integrator for a Class I railroad, we share responsibility for the high-level design, strategic vision, and integrity of the PTC system, which encompasses hundreds of software and technical components built in-house and provided by many external vendors.
  • For a Class I railroad, we help create the Quality Assurance testing strategy and improve execution by developing custom solutions and using off-the-shelf QA platforms.
  • Creation of a wayside status relay service to help ensure the timely transmission of wayside status messages between the WIU and the locomotive, as required by PTC.
  • Design and development of effective remote communications systems by adapting architecture to fit a Class I railroad’s needs and taking advantage of existing communications infrastructure, without compromising interoperability.
  • We provide data for regulatory reporting by railroads to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA).
  • We are assisting the progression of PTC in a high-traffic, shared-track corridor.