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Utah Rail Group Adopts GPS Tracking in Response to Homeland Security Policy

(March 06, 2006)
Policy changes by the nation's railroads, prompted by the Department of Homeland Security, have forced the Utah chapter of the National Railway Historical Society (NRHS) to install GPS tracking on their railcar.

As a security measure, railroads no longer provide the location of railcars to the public and so the 83 members of the Promontory Chapter, NRHS, decided in January, 2006 to install a GPS vehicle tracking system on their railcar, the Warrior River. Now chapter members can log onto a web site and see their railcar's location, speed and direction of travel.

The installation of a GPS tracking system on the Warrior River is believed to be one of the first on railcars maintained by any chapter of the NRHS. It is the first railcar of the Promontory Chapter to be equipped with GPS tracking.

The Warrior River makes 3-4 trips a year to Florida, providing support to ATK Thiokol employees who accompany shipments of their company's shuttle booster engines to the John F. Kennedy Space Center, says Phil Lavorgna, Vice-President for Operations, Promontory Chapter, NRHS. Each trip is about 3 weeks, he says.

ATK Thiokol reimburses the Promontory Chapter for use of the Warrior River as a place for employees to sleep, eat, rest and work while the rocket engines are being transported. Two chapter members travel with the ATK Thiokol team to provide cooking and mechanical support.

The Warrior River is a passenger car with six bedrooms, two rest rooms, a full kitchen and lounge. Built in 1949 by the Pullman Standard Company, the railcar has been updated by the Promontory Chapter with satellite television, electric heat, air conditioning and more.

The Promontory Chapter purchased the Warrior River in 1988, says Les Tippie, Promontory Chapter President. ATK Thiokol's use of the railcar provides for the upkeep of the chapter's caboose, the Kansas City Southern #334, its lounge-car, the JaniceL and the Warrior River, he says.

The Promontory Chapter purchased their GPS tracking system from My Vehicle WatchDog, Orem, UT. Their system is manufactured by Fleet Management Solutions of San Luis Obispo, CA and uses low-earth orbit communication satellites to report GPS position data from anywhere on earth.

For more information, contact Ken Sink, 801 458 8916, or visit www.MyVehicleWatchDog.Info.

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Related Keywords:gps, mobile, tracking, security, railway, nrhs, pullman, caboose, My Vehicle WatchDog

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