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 2023, Railinc is working on projects associated with Asset Health, Asset Utilization and Interline Services, as well as additional projects.
- Machine Vision Captured Equipment Characteristics — This project will utilize the Machine Vision Systems to identify End-of-Car Arrangements and other equipment characteristics that impact Line of Road Failures (LORFs) and support the identification of potential car design issues.
- Paperless – FRA/Railroad Portal (OTMA) Hazmat Integration — This project will address additional Railroad/FRA communications to be prioritized in a workflow portal. Specifically looking to consolidate communications with the FRA for Hazmat OTMAs. A better managed process will support quicker approval from FRA which will increase equipment utilization.
- Locomotive – Horsepower Hour Reconciliation — This project will build out the HPH Reconciliation platform by enhancing the repository for run-through agreements, creating an AEI data sharing system, and developing the base HPH Reconciliation portal of locomotives. These tools will provide the basis for the HPH platform, which will allow railroads to reconcile power and fuel sharing more efficiently and accurately.
- Defect Detection – EHMC Alert Closure Improvements – Phase 2 of 2 — Building on the work done in 2022 to identify updated business rules to improve the alert closure process, this project will create additional workflow enhancements to streamline the alert closure process for remaining alert/detector types. Also, this project will continue to refine performance KPI’s, and the timeliness of data used to evaluate the alert state and ensure that equipment issues are properly addressed to increase safety.
- Defect Detection – Wheel Temperature Technology Alerting — This project will build on work done in 2022 to improve wheel temperature monitoring technology and data sharing, create industry alerts to help identify dragging brakes in a non-braking train.
- Regulatory Modernization – Advance Strategic Roadmap — This project will continue to support the industry roadmap for securing regulatory modernization by providing analysis, data products and technology information workflows to highlight industry self-regulatory and safety practices. This may include the use of technology to aid carmen with completion of effective inspections (e.g., remote inspection of equipment by carmen, use computer aids to prioritize issues to be reviewed by carmen, and use of algorithms to automate repetitive tasks).
- Conditional Approval of Components Process Automation —This project will build out the recommendation from the Technical Committees Task Force to standardize and automate the process for conditionally approving multiple manufactured components and parts. The 2022 study defined the scope and business case. An improved approval process will reduce administrative time and effort while improving the quality and consistency of the process.
- Locomotive – Health and Status Expansion — In this project, railroads will receive a locomotive’s Blue Card and share and receive locomotive heading orientation and fuel level status to support train planners and Horsepower Equalization administrators.
- Bad Order Enhancement — This project enhances and modernizes Bad Order reporting to provide additional data that can be analyzed and used to support regulatory petitions and reduce manual inspections.
- End of Train Self Service (EOTSS) Management Utilization — This project will introduce enhancements to the LCS process for determining liability by incorporating GPS data being sent by EOT owners, integrating tracking status in package delivery (PKGD) events, and enhancing the business rules around those LCS decisions. Additional UI enhancements like revamping the map portion of the UI to make it more dynamic and incorporate enhanced filters when searching for EOT location, and monthly file search enhancements to list the corresponding events that are linked to that portion of liability for a specific EOT.
- Original/Rebuilt Cost Centralization — This project requests that the review and storage of original and rebuilt cost documents for superstructures (racks) be modernized and centralized at Railinc. When the original/rebuilt costs for racks can be efficiently captured and maintained, there may be applications for this project in other types of equipment.
- Special Car Order 90 (SCO-90) Modernization — This project is for the modernization of Special Car Order 90. SCO-90 is a legacy system that needs to be enhanced for today’s environment. This project will give railroads the tools needed to efficiently move empty cars to the equipment’s home railroad.
- Loading Authority (OT-57) Management Utilization — This project will introduce enhancements to the OT-57 application by increasing Equipment Owner visibility of equipment that is not associated with a fleet as well as granting new tools to Fleet Managers for maintenance. A field will be added to Umler that will advise whether a car is on a fleet and this element will be available for equipment queries. The Technical Advisory Group (TAG) will also enhance Transfer Request functionality and discuss the benefits of establishing Transfer Request timelines, if only for data cleanup.
Positive Train Control (PTC)
- PTC Fully Scalable Train Braking Simulation Environment (Pre-Trip Planning) – Phase 3 of 4 — Building on work done in the previous phases, this project will begin to host, execute, store, and report on Braking Algorithm scenarios executed by MxV Rail. This will enable MxV RaiI to improve efficiencies and expand the capabilities of the current PTC braking simulation application.
- PTC Interoperable Workflow Enhancements – Phase 1 — Building on the Industry PTC Interoperable Lifecycle Management System (ILM), this project will provide new functionality that will allow railroads to integrate Change and Configuration workflow processes with their backend systems. It will also create user-level trackable tasks that will improve the efficiency and accuracy of deploying new PTC configuration versions.
- Location Management Rail Industry GIS (RIGIS) Rail Network Enhancements — Phase 2 — This project furthers the development of the Rail Industry GIS (RIGIS) Network, additional improvements in Event Reporting Location (ERL) data quality and continued refinements to change management processes and related governance.
- Location Master — Phase 1 — This project will deliver a complete, sustainable industry reference file for the management of Event Reporting Location (ERL) information.
- Embargo Notifications and Waybill Party Expansion — This project will serve to enhance the Embargo application to improve shipper/railroad customer usability, enable the ability to specify contacts for embargoes, and increasing the control of who receives an 824 Hold notification when a CIF is not included on the waybill.
- AskRail Value Expansion – Phase 2 — This project will improve usability by enhancing the AskRail User Management Portal, refining the registration process, and reinstating the recertification process. The project will also serve to increase first responder engagement by enabling training functionality and broadening the training materials and scenarios available.
- Event Reporting Augmentation — This project will supplement existing car movement events with data from additional railroad wayside detectors to provide for more granular event reporting (via TRAIN II messaging).
- RDI Security Update Study — This study will review the current document sharing process for critical functionality, explore alternative processes, and determine the effort required for implementation on the railroad and Railinc systems of any prospective processes. Will prevent security concerns by replacing or modernizing the current tool used to enable document exchange between carriers. The current tool has been retired by the Apache Chemistry team (external to Railinc). Replacing the retired tool will reduce potential security risks for the Class Is and Railinc.