May 18, 2011 / Written by Woody Myers
RFID tracking in the railyard

Railroads shoulder a significant burden in the infrastructure of the American economy.  Rail-based transportation is responsible for moving almost half of all intercity freight and of one-third of the country’s exports. According to the Association of American Railroads, freight railroads generate nearly $265 billion in total annual economic activity.

We created a pilot program for a midwestern bulk logistics company that transports liquids and chemicals via trains that allows them to have a snapshot of all their possessions at any time.  The customer required us to come up with a solution that takes an Intermec CN3e paired an Intermec IP30 RFID sled to read the AEI tags which appears on every rail car that travels through the United States.  The AEI tags are passive RFID tags which are required by the government and contains data such as:

Carrier Initial, Car Number, Side Indicator Code, Length (Feet-inches), Number of Axles, Bearing Type Code, & Platform Identifier Code

Our proposed solution to the client entails scanning the AEI tags and Barcode tags on Railcars as they arrive at their rail yards. The CN3 with the IP30 sled will read, record and GPS time stamp both tags and, at end of day, the accumulated data is uploaded to a centralized data location.  The client now has a daily digital snapshot that gives them visibility across their US Railyards, instead of handwritten tallys on paper.

To see if this industry-leading solution is right for you, contact a product specialist at 1-800-446-1991.