USA Banner

Official US Government Icon

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure Site Icon

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Site Notification

U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Leveraging Connected Highway Vehicle Platooning Technology to Improve the Efficiency and Effectiveness of Train Fleeting under Moving Blocks

Document Series
Technical Reports
Federal Railroad Administration
Report Number
Subject Train Control
Train control and communication, Positive Train Control, PTC, moving blocks, Intelligent Railroad Systems, connected vehicles, train fleeting, train platooning, adaptive cruise control, energy efficiency, line capacity

Future advanced Positive Train Control systems may allow North American railroads to introduce moving blocks with shorter train headways. This research examines how closely following trains respond to different throttle and brake inputs. Using insights from connected automobile and truck platooning technology, six different following train control algorithms were developed, analyzed for stability, and evaluated with simulated fleets of freight trains. While moving blocks require additional train spacing beyond minimum safe braking distance to account for train control actions, certain following train algorithms can help minimize this distance and balance fuel efficiency and train headway by changing control parameters.

Last updated: Thursday, August 18, 2022