Freight train switching operations involve significant manual operations creating a safety hazard for the train crew and resulting in numerous injuries and fatalities every year. There is a need to develop, test, and deploy advanced devices that enable automation and improve the safety and efficiency of freight train switching operations. With that goal in mind, the Federal Railroad Administration has funded multiple projects aimed at developing these advanced devices. This paper presents three advanced devices — Remote Controlled Cut Lever, Remote Controlled Angle Cock, and Hand Brake Release Sensor — that will bring the industry one step closer to safer, more efficient and automated freight train switching operations. These devices were tested extensively in a laboratory and in a rail-yard environment and work is under way for testing these devices in a mainline operation.

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