Each year, Railinc works in close coordination with the AAR's Railinc Committee and various AAR committees to identify programs that will ensure the highest value from industry investments. In 2024, Railinc is working on projects associated with Asset Health, Asset Utilization, Positive Train Control, Location Management, Interline Services and various studies.
- Integrate AAR Facility Data with Component Tracking — This project will create a data integration between the AAR and Railinc so that Component Tracking can validate at the facility and MARK levels, better ensuring that component data is correct for recall and safety initiatives.
- Car Repair Billing Electronic Exception Handling — A standard file and central repository will be created to streamline Car Repair Billing (CRB) exception handling. This project will also reduce administrative overhead by providing a means to communicate and process billing exceptions electronically.
- Machine Vision Value Expansion — Extending from the work completed in 2023, this project will enable the machine vision repository to begin providing data to railroads to help improve algorithms as well as provide information about their fleets in advance of the traditional reporting through repair billing.
- EPA Electronic Labeling — This project will give the industry the ability to create and update EPA emissions placards in real time, increasing velocity and utilization.
- Locomotive Horsepower Hour and Fuel Equalization and Reports — This project is the next phase of the horsepower hour equalization multi-year initiative. The deliverables will increase fuel equalization operational efficiency by automating the sharing of fuel levels and equalization.
- Defect Detection – Cold Wheel Temperature Alerting — Continuing to build on work completed in 2022 and 2023 for wheel temperature alerting, including the data summary created to track Brake Health Indicator with cold wheels on a braking train. There has been a renewed effort to create industry alerts to help identify cold wheels in a braking train which could indicate faulty brakes.
- Defect Detection – Trending Hot Bearings — Building on research started in 2023, create a new industry data summary and alert to help identify bearings that are trending toward failure.
- Derailment Analysis Reporting Tool Value Expansion — This project aims to improve the value of the Derailment Analysis Reporting Tool (DART) by expanding the scope to include all components of interest, thus creating a streamlined one-stop portal for railroads when a derailment occurs.
- Detector Quality Monitoring Improvements — Cultivating research completed in 2023, the Detector Quality Monitoring (DQM) Task Force will guide Railinc’s improvement of the Hot Bearing Detector (HBD) DQM report along with improving the overall understanding and usefulness of the system.
- Regulatory Modernization – Support for 2025 — Supporting the Regulatory Modernization TAG as they prepare to submit waivers and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) submissions for 2025 by providing analysis, data products, and technology information workflows to highlight industry self-regulatory and safety practices.
- Foundational Industry Telematics Platform — An industry telematics platform will be developed to manage GPS data for the industry. The platform will receive data from devices and share it with the appropriate parties in a consumable format. Device management functionality will also be developed to monitor data quality and inform interoperability of the devices.
- Loading Authority (OT-57) Management Utilization Phase 2 — This project will increase visibility for equipment owners when equipment is unassociated with a fleet as well as grant new tools to Fleet Managers for maintenance. The OT-57 dashboard will be enhanced with statistics for Equipment Owners and will advise as to the total number of equipment registered in Umler, and provide counts for cars that are on a fleet, not on a fleet, or in conflict. The Fleet Details page will allow Fleet Managers to download a CSV file containing the fleet history as a means of auditing transactions for that fleet.
- Special Car Order 90 Modernization Phase 2 — This project is for the modernization and enhancement of Special Car Order 90. SCO-90 is a legacy system for the management of unassigned railcars or for railcars that are loaded out of their pool assignment. This project will give railroads the tools needed to properly identify and efficiently move misappropriated cars to the equipment’s home railroad in an equitable manner.
Positive Train Control (PTC)
- PTC Full Scalable Train Braking Simulation Environment – Phase 4 of 4 — In this final stage, Phase 4 of this project will focus on railroad user interface access, while continuing to enhance the application for MxV Rail execution of Braking Algorithm scenarios. This will cover error handling, data analysis, automated reporting, and API access.
- PTC Interoperable Workflow Enhancements – Phase 2 of 2 — Building on the Industry PTC Interoperable Lifecycle Management System (ILM), this project will provide new functionality that will enable railroads to integrate Change and Configuration workflow processes with their backend systems. It will also provide railroads with weekly ICAB agendas and meeting minutes to help improve communication to subject matter experts who need to know deployment information for their interoperable partners.
- Location Management RIGIS Value Expansion Phase 1 — This project builds out the RIGIS data model through incorporating additional industry GIS data and improving data quality/accuracy. The additional GIS data and higher quality data will allow for more accurate industry mileage calculations and broader support of additional technologies (e.g., GPS data).
- Location Master — Phase 2 — This project will enable the integration of the work completed during the 2023 Location Master Phase 1 project into existing and new applications and processes. The prioritized integrations will allow applications to begin using the higher quality data in the new Location Master file.
- Forward and Store Edits Update Phase 2 — Addressing missing 997 and 824 level validations in Forward and Store as identified by the first phase of the project. Increase consumption and/or reviews of Forward and Store acknowledgments and validations by participating carriers.
- Forward and Store 8050 EDI Upgrade — Updating the Forward and Store system to be compliant with the EDI 8050 Rail standard allows the industry to utilize industry requested changes and federal regulatory requirements for the EDI 417 (Waybill) and EDI 421 (Trip Plan) message types. The changes have been collected from the industry over a two-year period to meet changing business needs and improve communications between carriers.
- AskRail Value Expansion Phase 2 – Recertification — This project will reimplement the recertification process to remove AskRail users who are no longer working as first responders.
- Customer Identification File (CIF) Enhancement — Enhancements will be made to the CIF application to assign and manage the CIF ID on all customer records with reference to Dun & Bradstreet’s DUNS #. This project will also improve the Railinc website to upload and store carriers’ customer verification documents and provide a work queue on the CIF application for Railinc Product Support to address carriers’ requests.
- Address Component Position Mismatches Between Equipment Advisory System and Umler — This study will create a process to address carmen reporting inspections to Equipment Advisory System that do not match the location in Umler so that the equipment doesn’t immediately get added back to the Equipment Advisory.
- Component Tracking Data Quality Issues — This study will evaluate current issues, determine the impact of each issue, scope solutions for these issues, and prioritize those solutions for potential future projects. The expected output is opportunity definitions for 2025 projects.
- Locomotive Repair Billing Traction Motor Billing and Notifications — This study will analyze the current process and document potential solutions for railroads to notify traction motor owners when and where their equipment is available for recovery. The study will determine a notification process to reduce the number of phone calls and emails associated with recovering the traction motor equipment. The expected output is opportunity definitions for 2025 projects.