Perhaps no other recent BNSF Railway Co. project exemplifies the Class I’s ongoing efforts to embrace technological change than the modernization of its network operations center (NOC) in Fort Worth.Opened in 1995 at BNSF’s headquarters, the NOC houses more than 500 dispatchers and support staff who manage traffic around the clock in 10 divisions governing 95 dispatching districts.BNSF wants highly trained people using very sophisticated technology — including the most advanced transportation management system — to keep track of the railroad’s traffic. Therefore, the NOC needed a refresh so both training and technology could be vastly upgraded.BNSF pursued and completed a nine-month, nearly $20 million project last year that literally transformed the center from the ground up. The NOC now is or soon will be equipped with the most sophisticated transportation planning technology available.To learn more about the transformation, read my cover story in the January issue. A time-lapse video also can be viewed here to gain a sense of the project’s magnitude.
If you know of any technology-driven projects that are impacting the rail industry, please share them in the comment section below.