We’re thrilled to announce that Railway Age Magazine posted a comprehensive article about us this month, titled, “Wayside Cameras, Integrated Sensors as Logistics Tools.” Jim Blaze interviews our Co-Founder/CCO, John Schmitter, and provides an in-depth summary of what we do and why it matters. Here are some highlights.
The Hole that is Network Visibility
Blaze explains a major hole within the rail industry, which is the lack of network visibility.
“From my experience,” he says, “this kind of visibility monitoring of different networks has matured over the past several decades. In some ways, it’s hard to understand why private railway traffic flows have not yet been monitored by such means.”
Amtrak is an example of a company working toward monitoring. Blaze notes that “near-track-side camera coverage on a selected geographic basis can provide a reliable database as Amtrak tries to assemble a quality view of CSX’s claimed capacity restrictions that should keep the proposed new passenger trains off CSX tracks. Wayside off-CSX property line cameras could become the data equalizer for this regulatory discussion.”
Filling the Gap
Blaze acknowledges that few shippers are ahead of Amtrak in this respect…except for RailState.
“There’s an enormous network visibility gap between rail and other modes of transportation,” Schmitter explains. “Truck customers, with apps like Google Maps or Waze, can see the traffic effects of all trucks and cars on the roads. Ocean shipping customers can see every ship on the ocean. Air freight customers can see all planes in the sky.”
When it comes to rail? You have days, or even weeks-delayed data about your specific cars; there’s no insight into the overall network.
Known as a “Google Maps or Waze for the railroad,” RailState helps level the playing field by making real time, independent, unbiased rail network data available to rail shippers, regulators, commodity traders, financial analysts and others. Its network of sensors (which run along, but off the right-of-way of the railway), captures the train speed, direction, and priority of your specific shipments. Is the railroad prioritizing your coal shipment, for example? Or are grain trains moving at a greater pace? RailState has that data.
An example of RailState’s data in-action? Our work with Teck Resources Limited. Check out our white paper for an in-depth case study. To summarize:
Teck wanted insights that would help their operations, both in “normal” times, and periods of disruption. They saw the value of RailState’s data, which provides insights that are not available anywhere else, according to RailState.
During both the Lytton Fires and BC Washouts of 2021, Teck relied heavily on RailState’s data. Teck opted to reroute a major shipment, yielding significant profits.
Teck continues to use RailState’s data in everyday operations.
Key takeaways? A RailState subscriber can see how cars are moving; how they’re being prioritized; if there are slowdowns; and what can be expected moving forward. “You’ll be able to make decisions based on actual unbiased network data,” Schmitter explains.
As Blaze notes, RailState is “a statistically significant camera coverage network, linked together with communications and analysis software” that can “give a meaningful commercial network assessment of fluidity and service capability to shippers and other interested parties.”
Read the full article here.
To see our data in-action, check out our weekly Rail Capacity Report.