Ground Control

  • Added safety for the ground person
  • Positive and proactive coordination between operator and ground person
  • Remote alert and data transfer

What is Ground Control System?

Our Ground Control System (GCS) is yet another Trackmobile innovation to railcar switching. Customers can now put critical operator controls into the hands of the crewmen.

During normal operation with an operator in the cab and a ground person there are times when the ground person needs to be sure the railcar mover does not move: while connecting the train air slip fittings; while inspecting clamshell doors on railcars, for example. There are also frequent situations in which the ground person needs to get the operator's attention quickly even though they do not have voice or visual contact.

The Trackmobile® GCS solves this problem.

How does Ground Control System work?

The ground person carries the palm-size GCS that is about the same dimensions as a TV remote control and weighs less than a pound. Green button turns transmitter on and gives control to GCS. Left hand buttons activate respective buttons to ground man. Right hand buttons return controls to operator in cab. Red button turns transmitter off.

The first pair of buttons labeled "Train Air" uses the left hand button to dump the train air to emergency for quick stops. The right hand button resets the Trackmobile emergency valve, allowing the in-cab operator the ability to recharge the train air system.

The second set of buttons labeled "Brake Neutral" activates and deactivates the Trackmobile service stop sequence: The Trackmobile hydraulic brakes are applied, the transmission is electronically disabled by automatically diverting the power to the cab-mounted and off-side mounted status lights illuminating them, giving a visual indication to the ground person it is safe to proceed. The operator's controls are locked out and cannot be used until the ground person again enables them by pushing a button.

The third pair of buttons labeled "Cab Alarm" activates a buzzer and a light in the cab, instantly summoning the operator's attention.

There is a fourth button pair that can be used for additional functions: air horn, air-operated warning bell and/or any "ON/OFF" function on the Trackmobile® unit, for example, available at additional cost. These buttons could also be used to activate relays to energize and de-energize high voltage auxiliary equipment such as central alarms or process equipment.

Must the TRACKMOBILE® unit also be equipped with optional Radio Control in order to have Ground Control System?

No, GCS can be installed and used without Radio Control, or can be used in addition to it. GCS is a completely separate system with its own transmitter and receiver.

Keep in mind, Radio Control is used by an operator who leaves the cab and operates the TRACKMOBILE unit from the ground with no one in the cab. GCS is used when the operator remains in the cab while working with a ground person, coordinating all movements.

What would be an example of a use for GCS?

Take the example above of the ground person connecting the train air slip fittings. As the ground person approaches the couplers he/she uses the GCS to signal the operator that he/she will be momentarily out of sight and to not move the Trackmobile unit or coupled railcars. For additional assurance that there will be no movement, the ground person activates the service stop button: the transmission shifts to neutral and the service brakes apply. Until the ground person pushes the deactivation button, the operator cannot override this mode and the machine cannot move.

Another example would be the use of a TRACKMOBILE unit to pull covered hoppers into an unload facility. The ground person sounds the audible signal using a prearranged code to slow down, and then to stop with the first car over the unloader. As the contents flow out the bottom dump, the ground person uses the extra set of buttons and an additional receiver to activate the conveyors to move the dumped material into the storage facility.

Ground Control System Features:

  • Rugged construction and weighs less than one pound
  • Full band frequency hopping technology - NO FCC LICENSE REQUIRED
  • Security coded
  • Self diagnostics
  • Weatherproof transmitter
  • Customized functions

Click the link below for a video of the GCS in operation:


Whiting Equipment Canada, Inc. © 2018