Watertown, NY – U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) joined GoRail for a tour of New York Air Brake’s facility in Watertown, NY on March 25. New York Air Brake is a leading supplier to the railroad industry of braking systems and components, training simulators and train control systems. Sen. Schumer pointed to these sophisticated rail technologies in his remarks emphasizing rail safety.

New York Air Brake is also a significant employer in the Jefferson County region, employing 500 people locally as well as hundreds more at its five additional locations in Texas, Missouri, Illinois, North Carolina, and Canada.

“It’s a blessing to the north country and to Jefferson County,” Sen. Schumer said.

Sen. SchumerNew York Air Brake’s work producing train control, securement and braking systems and other technologies contributes to rail safety across New York and the country. And massive private infrastructure investments by railroads help make this possible; In 2016, freight railroads plan to spend $26 billion to build, maintain and enhance the nationwide rail network.

“As demand for freight rail increases, spurred by steady railroad investments, so does the need for infrastructure, technology and equipment provided by companies like New York Air Brake,” said President and CEO Michael Hawthorne.

“For example,” Hawthorne continued, “NYAB makes a technology that secures a train safely, solidly and efficiently. ParkLoc is an automatic parking brake for freight rail cars that eliminates the need for railroad personnel to climb freight cars to engage parking brake mechanisms.”

Mr. Hawthorne led the tour for Sen. Schumer, highlighting technologies like ParkLoc and the LEADER (Locomotive Engineer Assist/Display and Event Recorder) train management system. LEADER uses data captured from onboard train systems to help railroads achieve ‘golden runs’ where fuel economy, in-train forces and schedule compliance are optimized. This improves fuel efficiency—one of the reasons a single train can move one ton of freight nearly 500 miles on a gallon of fuel.

“Private sector spending and investment by railroads pay huge safety dividends. The train accident rate has fallen by 80 percent since 1980 and 45 percent since 2000, and new technology being developed by companies like New York Air Brake thanks to that investment will close this gap even further. Whether its big data, drones, positive train control or ultrasound technology—railroads are at the forefront of safety and innovation,” said Emily Traiforos, New York state director for GoRail.