Welcome!

@DXWorldExpo Authors: Zakia Bouachraoui, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Carmen Gonzalez

Article

All Aboard the IoT Railway

Rail represents a major component of infrastructure

IoT Railway

In many parts of the world, rail represents a major component of infrastructure – for the transportation of both humans and goods. In fact, railways are critical to some of the major industries like oil and gas, agriculture, and food refrigeration/transport. Much like those industries have, over the years, adopted automated, machine-to-machine (M2M) technology, railroads have similarly deployed more advanced technology over the years as well.

Railways began the “automation” process by adding Automatic Equipment Identification (AEI) tags back as early as 1989. These sensors track the specific item tagged, but they have no way of knowing how the train is operating as a whole. Companies also began deploying RFID tags to track goods being transported along the different lines. The AEI sensors could provide information on the rail car and would interact with the various readers along the route. The additional sensors were great for location awareness, but still lacked the ability to monitor all the moving parts on the train. Still, with these two initial steps, the early stages of Internet of Things (IoT) technology began to come into focus for the railroad industry.

IoT Railway Solution

The rail industry needed a way to develop a more intelligent infrastructure that enabled Sensor-2-Server (S2S) data transmission via a network of Wi-Fi and voice, video, data and sensor control systems. Due to the massive amount of data collection a system like this would develop, railways are now developing a fully digital service that is directed toward centralized facilities capable of aggregating data from different sources and streams and analyzing that data in real-time. For instance, today, railroad sensors monitor everything from rail car and locomotive health, to track conditions, air temperatures, stress gauges and component conditions. Having a centralized system allows operators to take that data being collected  and use it to develop predictive maintenance practices; that is, the ability to predict when a section of rail or a specific component is in need of repair or near failure.

Predictive maintenance is only one component of IoT integration for the rail industry, but it is one that can potentially transform practices across the board, ultimately saving companies time and money – valuable elements for an industry centered on logistics.

Across the pond, the University of Huddersfield’s Institute of Railway Research has found that tracks can be monitored with inexpensive sensors set to operate by the vibrations of oncoming trains. According to the research, the sensors will still operate if one of the sensors is damaged, because of a built-in fail-safe. These sensors are projected to detect both approaching trains and the real-time conditions of the track.

Adding an IoT network to trains can help improve safety and efficiency with traffic congestion, monitoring and control speed. Even the non-critical business operations have the ability to operate efficiently on the train with the help of modern sensors.

Beyond rail sensor networks, there is also the consideration of the passengers as well. If railroads can implement Wi-Fi networks on passenger cars, passengers will be able to receive travel updates, railroad companies can develop specific apps for their travelers, and riders can enjoy the utility of internet in areas that previously lacked service.

Although rail remains largely an industrial consideration in the United States, the growth of IoT technology available to the greater industry bodes well for the continued development of this infrastructure around the world.

More Stories By Scott Allen

Scott is an executive leader with more than 25 years of experience in product lifecycle management, product marketing, business development, and technology deployment. He offers a unique blend of start-up aggressiveness and established company executive leadership, with expertise in product delivery, demand generation, and global market expansion. As CMO of FreeWave, Scott is responsible for product life cycle/management, GTM execution, demand generation, and brand creation/expansion strategies.

Prior to joining FreeWave, Scott held executive management positions at Fluke Networks (a Danaher Company), Network Associates (McAfee), and several start-ups including Mazu Networks and NEXVU Business Solutions. Scott earned his BA in Computer Information Systems from Weber University.

DXWorldEXPO Digital Transformation Stories
Steaz, the nation's top-selling organic and fair trade green-tea-based beverage company, announces its 2017 "Mind. Body. Soul." tour, which will bring authentic experiences inspired by the brand's signature Mind. Body. Soul. tagline to life across the country. The tour will inform, educate, inspire and entertain through events, digital activations and partner-curated experiences developed to support the three pillars of complete health and wellness.
The platform combines the strengths of Singtel's extensive, intelligent network capabilities with Microsoft's cloud expertise to create a unique solution that sets new standards for IoT applications," said Mr Diomedes Kastanis, Head of IoT at Singtel. "Our solution provides speed, transparency and flexibility, paving the way for a more pervasive use of IoT to accelerate enterprises' digitalisation efforts. AI-powered intelligent connectivity over Microsoft Azure will be the fastest connected pat...
There are many examples of disruption in consumer space – Uber disrupting the cab industry, Airbnb disrupting the hospitality industry and so on; but have you wondered who is disrupting support and operations? AISERA helps make businesses and customers successful by offering consumer-like user experience for support and operations. We have built the world’s first AI-driven IT / HR / Cloud / Customer Support and Operations solution.
Codete accelerates their clients growth through technological expertise and experience. Codite team works with organizations to meet the challenges that digitalization presents. Their clients include digital start-ups as well as established enterprises in the IT industry. To stay competitive in a highly innovative IT industry, strong R&D departments and bold spin-off initiatives is a must. Codete Data Science and Software Architects teams help corporate clients to stay up to date with the mod...
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...
In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Dumas, Calligo’s Vice President and G.M. of US operations, discussed the new Global Data Protection Regulation and how Calligo can help business stay compliant in digitally globalized world. Greg Dumas is Calligo's Vice President and G.M. of US operations. Calligo is an established service provider that provides an innovative platform for trusted cloud solutions. Calligo’s customers are typically most concerned about GDPR compliance, application p...
Druva is the global leader in Cloud Data Protection and Management, delivering the industry's first data management-as-a-service solution that aggregates data from endpoints, servers and cloud applications and leverages the public cloud to offer a single pane of glass to enable data protection, governance and intelligence-dramatically increasing the availability and visibility of business critical information, while reducing the risk, cost and complexity of managing and protecting it. Druva's...
BMC has unmatched experience in IT management, supporting 92 of the Forbes Global 100, and earning recognition as an ITSM Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader for five years running. Our solutions offer speed, agility, and efficiency to tackle business challenges in the areas of service management, automation, operations, and the mainframe.
With 10 simultaneous tracks, keynotes, general sessions and targeted breakout classes, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO are two of the most important technology events of the year. Since its launch over eight years ago, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO have presented a rock star faculty as well as showcased hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors! In this blog post, we provide 7 tips on how, as part of our world-class faculty, you can deliver one of the most popular sessions at our events. But before reading...
DSR is a supplier of project management, consultancy services and IT solutions that increase effectiveness of a company's operations in the production sector. The company combines in-depth knowledge of international companies with expert knowledge utilising IT tools that support manufacturing and distribution processes. DSR ensures optimization and integration of internal processes which is necessary for companies to grow rapidly. The rapid growth is possible thanks, to specialized services an...