Australian Freight Railroad SSR praises the ZTR KickStart

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Global tech company ZTR partners with Imtram Pty.Ltd. to deliver innovative rail solutions.

SSR Locomotive

Southern Shorthaul Railroad

“With KickStart onboard, SSR is looking forward to greater performance, efficiency and safety. At the end of the day, we’re all going to be winners,” says Chris Jones, SSR Executive General Manager.

ZTR, a pioneer in the development Locomotive Modernization Solutions is getting rave reviews for its award-winning KickStart product in Australia. Southern Shorthaul Railroad (SSR) is one of the first Australian railroads to test the product and it’s hoping to triple the battery life for its locomotive fleet.

Working in close partnership with Imtram Pty.Ltd., a leading consultant for the provision of key technologies for the rail industry, ZTR and Imtram arranged a pilot program for SSR to test the improved starting reliability offered by KickStart.

With annual service reviews revealing battery failures and facing ongoing starting issues, the railroad was a perfect candidate for the trial. Battery life and starting reliability issues can result in huge costs for railroads, not to mention the time it takes to send people and equipment to diagnose and jump start a locomotive. It’s not a pleasant or safe environment for railroad workers. Now with the installation of KickStart, those issues are no longer a worry, not to mention the environmental benefits of extending battery life.

Since their trial began, SSR has experienced zero starting issues. Skeptical at first and not knowing what to expect, the SSR team was cautious but quickly realized the benefits.

“The most important factor is reliability for our customers and for us to be able to serve them well. Our crews are much happier not having to perform excessive jump starts, we’re saving on fuel burn idling, and spend less time with unnecessary shunting. KickStart has had a significant impact on our operational efficiency by eliminating the planning time needed to address starting issues,” says John Mackie, SSR Locomotive Maintenance Manager.

SSR crew members all commented on how quickly their locomotives fired up and turned over, Mackie added. “They’ve never started so well,” he says.

And the remote install was a ZTR first. When KickStart arrived along with the installation manuals, the ZTR support team quickly engaged with Imtram to ensure the experience was a positive one. “The support was sensational. Installation happened in the field, not in a workshop and even so, ZTR made changes on the fly, delivered customizations as needed, and made sure we got the help we needed. It was definitely appreciated,” explains Imtram Business Development Manager Rick Buckland, who was in the field assisting with the installation.

The trial was closely monitored by engineers via a data logger giving real-time accounts of location and all starting events that were Kickstart assisted as well as the battery condition, thus proving the performance of the Kickstart system to be an unquestionable add-on for SSR.

SSR's GT46Ace locomotives are the pride of the railroad’s fleet. “With KickStart onboard, SSR is looking forward to greater performance, efficiency and safety. We’re an innovative, customer-focused freight company and that’s why catering to client needs is so important. KickStart helps us do that and at the end of the day, we’re all going to be winners,” says Chris Jones, SSR Executive General Manager.

About ZTR
ZTR is a global technology company that provides control systems and industrial telematics solutions for the rail and construction industries. The company is known as a pioneer in locomotive and industrial Internet of Things (IoT) technology. It designs products and services aimed at improving the performance and reliability of aging locomotives, and delivers railway and industrial telematics solutions that allow companies to remotely monitor and manage mobile as well as fixed assets. From locomotives and rail cars to maintenance of way and yard equipment, ZTR creates robust, flexible and cost-effective solutions to fit customer needs. For more information, visit, email, or call +1-519-452-1233.

About Imtram
Imtram has earned a reputation for being the “go-to” rail solutions provider in Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong by proactively approaching each customer with the knowledge that it can innovate better solutions for our partners in the rail industry. The company provides flexible, tailored solutions to its customers with diligence and a dedicated approach. Through investment in its servitisation models, Imtram is as a total service and solution provider in key rail product areas of rollingstock, signalling, and track components, and depot equipment, refurbishment offerings and in-house manufacturing. Imtram is passionate about doing the best for its clients, pushing boundaries and overcoming challenges (no matter how great) to get the job done. Its dedicated and experienced team is pivotal in driving the business forward to achieve the company’s goals by working with customers to reduce stress and allow them to deliver efficient, safe and timely rail solutions. Imtram represents key technology companies with a diverse range of rail products. Imtram attributes the sourcing of new and emerging technologies and systems that assist in keeping networks running on time, as a key factor in its success.

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