RailComm announces iTrack™ Intelligent Railcar Yard Inventory solution and deployment at Terminal Railway Alabama State Docks
25 October 16
RailComm is announcing its new iTrack Intelligent Yard Inventory solution and successful deployment at Terminal Railway Alabama State Docks.
The patented iTrack solution is a new capability of RailComm’s yard automation portfolio. It is a real-time fully automatic railcar inventory system that allows yard personnel to identify and follow the location of every car and locomotive entering the facility. The solution integrates with the RailComm DOC system, Car Identification Portal (which includes cameras) to detect every railcar (even cars with defective Automatic Equipment Identification AEI tags) as it enters and exits the yard, and RailComm’s Insight monitoring and analytics platform which provides a dashboard with live video feed and system health monitoring and analytics. Wheel sensors located at each switch turnout provide automatic and continuous tracking of each railcar throughout the yard. As rail cars move through the yard, the system knows their exact location, which can be searched at anytime from anywhere via a graphical Web-based interface. The system and data reside on RailComm’s secure and reliable Cloud infrastructure.
RailComm’s iTrack solution is designed to provide managers, supervisors and customers with the yardstatus information they need to make decisions, such as the ordered list of cars on a track, car dwell times, track length availability, and car arrival and departure times. RailComm’s iTrack solution also keeps track of missing AEI tags, or tags with incorrect car information, and allows the user to make corrections as needed. With analytics and reporting capabilities, the system supports management with decisionmaking.
Terminal Railway Alabama State Docks (TASD), serves customers mostly in chemicals and bulk goods, including containers, coal, metal products, lumber/building supplies, paper, chemicals, petroleum products, aggregates, cement, grains, and agricultural products. The TASD also handles the movement and storage of freight cars for other railroads including CSX, NS, CN, G&W’s AGR, and CG Railway. TASD needed to improve accuracy and efficiency of business operations by deploying a real-time system to automatically track all railcar movement within the yard facility and know exactly when each car enters and exits the yard with time stamped transactions for each railcar movement. They also needed to see the ordered lineup of cars on each track in real-time with no delay in processing switch lists or waiting for EDI messages. They wanted to be able to find the current location of any car in the yard by entering all or part of a car’s ID and see all cars in the yard, even those with defective AEI tags, with all cars being detected and metrics collected on AEI tag defects. The system also needed to provide car location and transaction information to carriers, car owners, and freight customers.
The system is comprised of car tracking portals installed at each of the four entrances of the yard for car recognition, an axle tracking system using 116 wheel sensors at 56 switch locations throughout the yard, an industrial 802.11 Wi-Fi radio communication network, RailComm’s iTrack application, and RailComm’s DOC®. The Car Tracking solution, which provides a graphical representation of the car inventory and car tracking reports, is accessed from a central workstation located in the yard office and can also be accessed from anywhere through a web user interface.
“RailComm’s new iTrack solution provides the Terminal Railroad with a real time view of our rail car inventory and traffic on the interchange. This car tracking system will enable us to move from hand written lists to a fully automatic update of our inventory as cars get switched into and out of tracks on the interchange. We are looking forward to providing access to this system to the five other carriers that switch cars on our interchange.” said Mike Russell, General Manager, Terminal Railway Alabama State Docks.