RailState was founded in 2018, to address a major gap in the railroad industry — network visibility.
Rail visibility is the ability to see the network as a whole — where all of the trains in a region are located, how they’re moving, and where there are slow-downs. Every mode of transportation has a way to see the network. You can see the location of every plane, ship, and truck. When it comes to the railroad? You can only see the location of your car. RailState changes the game, and allows you network visibility that hasn’t previously been an option in the rail industry.
Our sensors gather the passing time, direction, speed, and type of each train. Our business intelligence tools allow us to organize, track, and report this real-time data across the railway network. They also allow you to query, report, and analyze the data.
Say you’re a shipper who ships grain, and you’re wondering where your shipment is located. Railways can only tell you so much — “there’s some congestion, everyone is experiencing delays” etc. With RailState, you’ll be able to understand specifics about the movement of your cars. Let’s say your grain train was ahead of four intermodal trains, and then, after a traffic jam, it ended up behind those trains. This lets you know the network is moving, but your train isn’t being prioritized. Having this background information allows you to enter into a conversation with the railways that’s more productive and specific.
Right now, there’s a systemic rail failure across the west with regards to capacity. RailState can provide an estimate of capacity for trains per day over a specific segment of rail, and this information allows you to predict the types of problems you may encounter. For example, if there’s a segment of rail whose capacity is 30 trains-per-day, and, thanks to RailState’s data, you’re regularly seeing 30 trains-per-day move through that segment, you can infer what type of glitches may arrive. One seemingly insignificant backup and the entire segment is delayed.
RailState’s capacity data is also helpful from a planning standpoint. Say someone wants to build a new plant along a certain line — they’ll need to consider if they’ll have enough capacity to move what needs to be moved. If not, they’ll need to build the plant elsewhere. Again, this data changes the conversation with railroads, and makes it more productive.