See You At The Show!


Just a reminder that the RSI/CMA 2014 Canadian Rail Summit is coming up in Montreal, September 21-23, 2014. It’s a great opportunity to connect with people from across the rail industry, particularly those involved in locomotive and rail car building and maintenance.

TMV Control Systems will also be there as an exhibitor (Booth 604). Please join us at the RSI/CMA Canadian Rail Summit in Montreal this September!

Locomotive Data for North America


There are a lot of locomotives in North America, and the numbers have been increasing steadily over the past two decades.loco_stats

Wheel Slip Testing

One of our customers, David Simpson at LTEX, took the time to demonstrate the effectiveness of our system at increasing the lifting capacity of a locomotive compared to the OEM equipment. He took two EMD GP15 locomotives, hooked each one up to 3 six-axle locomotives, turned on the air brakes on the trailing locomotives, and took the GP15s out onto a 1/8 mile test track. One of the locomotives had a TMV TECU on it and the other still had the original OEM equipment.

As a test, it was designed to demonstrate how effective the TECU is at increasing the lifting capacity of switchers and load switchers. You can see the results in this video.

GP15 locomotives were built between 1976 and 1982. They are equipped with 1500 horsepower 12 cylinder engines.

Why is this test important? In a switching yard, small locomotives are constantly moving cars around to build a longer train (consist) and they want the power to be able to lift the train and do it effectively all day and every day. If they try to lift too much, they lose momentum and stall out. This wastes time, as they have to back up and have another go, call for help from another locomotive, or even split the train in half and make the run twice. This is especially an issue in bad weather when the rails get wet or icy and there’s less friction. As this test demonstrated, the TMV TECU significantly increases the lifting ability of the GP15, and will do the same for your diesel locomotives.

Thank you, David, for taking the time to do this work! If you are interested in leasing a locomotive with a TMV TECU installed, please contact LTEX here.

RSI/CMA 2014 Canadian Rail Summit – Montreal – September 21-23, 2014


The Railway Supply Institute (RSI) and Coordinated Mechanical Associations (CMA) will hold RSI/CMA 2014 Canadian Rail Summit on September 21 -23 in Montreal, Quebec at the Palais des congrés de Montréal (Montreal Convention Center). RSI and the CMA will be joined by the Railway Association of Canada and the Canadian Association of Railway Suppliers. RSI’s exhibits will be held in conjunction with the CMA 2014 technical and educational sessions. Combined expected attendance is 1,500.

TMV Control Systems will also be there as an exhibitor (Booth 604). Please join us at the RSI/CMA Canadian Rail Summit in Montreal this September!

ASLRRA Connections


We’re excited to let everyone know that we will be at the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association annual convention in San Diego next week. If you’re at the show, please drop by and say hello.

We’re particularly interested in talking to members of mechanical teams who are short on power and interested in upgrading their older locomotives rather than purchasing new equipment. Our TECU could give you over 20% more tractive effort and adhesion, allowing you to lift significantly more with your current equipment.

If this is something you’re interested in, drop by and see us at booth 624!

Visitors In The Neighbourhood

One of the great things about our new location is that we often have locomotives visiting the neighbourhood. We are right at the junction of Canadian Pacific Railway’s Galt and Waterloo Subdivisions.


There is a small switching yard across from our back entrance, and we regularly have visitors. Here’s a set of interesting locomotives that showed up last week from out of town.


A consist of 3 different colours


One of CP’s own SD40s.


A C40-9W from Norfolk Southern.


An SD40 from the plains. The DM&E is owned by CP.

We never did find out what the locomotives from out of town were doing here, but it was nice to have them drop by for a visit!


Norfolk Southern MP15E Project

NS 2374A 9-25-12.res

Photo courtesy Withers Publishing – used with permission

We have been involved in a long-term project to provide the locomotive control system for Norfolk Southern’s MP15E project. They are upgrading their MP15s to AC power as well as upgrading other auxiliary functions. We recently put together a case study about our involvement in the project for an interested potential customer. If you’re interested in receiving a copy of the case study, please contact us at and we’ll send it directly to you.


Fundamental Reliability

One of the concerns potential customers often express is whether our systems are reliable. We are pleased to announce that we have performed an FPMH (Failures Per Million Hours) analysis of our Traction Engine Control Unit (TECU) and are happy to present the following data.*

CPU/PS Module4.682
IO Module #15.360
IO Module #25.360

A failure rate of 18.1 failures every million hours represents about 1 failure every 6 years and 4 months. This demonstrates the fundamental reliability of our TECU. We are committed to maintaining this standard of excellence and providing excellent service to our existing customers and all those we will serve in the future.

*If you are interested in more details, please email us at for a copy of the entire report.

Happy New Year and Test Results!

Hello all. Just wanted to take this opportunity to wish you a Happy New Year!

Also, we wanted to let you know about the results of some testing that a customer of ours did with a GP38-AC locomotive retrofitted with a TECU from TMV Control Systems.

GP38-2 retrofitted with a TECU from TMV Control Systems.

GP38-AC retrofitted with our TECU.

This locomotive was tested by pushing an SD40-2 in full dynamic brake (DB) up a 1.5% grade with some oil intentionally applied to the rails on a portion of the track. The customer was happy to report that the locomotive with our TECU passed with flying colours. The GP38 with the TECU was able to get the SD40-2 up to a constant speed of 13 mph, maximizing the dynamic brake capacity. The TECU performed especially well on the oily rails. When an axle started slipping, the TECU managed the power well, maximizing the adhesion and allowing the locomotive to continue maintaining adhesion to handle the load.

Just to give you some idea of the parameters of the testing, each dynamic brake resistor grid on a locomotive is rated for 700 Amps. Since an SD unit has 6 traction motors, each with its own resistor grid, the total potential resistance that the 4 axles of the GP38 would need to overcome would be 4200 A. This works out to 1050 A per traction motor on the GP38, plus the effort of pulling up a 1.5% grade. Traction motors are rated for a short-term maximum of 1500 A and a continuous rating of 1000 A.

For a GP38 locomotive to be able to generate the sustained effort needed to pull an SD40-2 in full DB up a 1.5% grade on oiled track, the GP38 needs to have a quality traction control system in place. Our TECU gave this GP38 the power that it needed!

Update: There’s a much nicer photo of the locomotive available here. Thanks Tim!

Merry Christmas!


We would like to wish all our customers, suppliers, friends, and neighbours a wonderful Christmas season!

Our offices and labs will be closed between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. We will be happy to help you again in the new year.