We posted about a blog from Supply Chain Dive called “Tracking the speed, dwell and cars of Class I railroads.” Supply Chain Dive periodically updates this article with “up-to-date” statistics on certain railroads across North America.

In reviewing June’s data, we realized how little this information tells a person. Is it interesting to see the average train speeds, dwell times, and cars online for a railroad from July 2017 to December 2021? Sure. But who’s the audience for this information?

Our Co-Founder, John Schmitter, spoke at an FTR conference a few years ago, and a key participant stated: “Knowing the system-average train speed went from 24 to 25 mph two weeks ago has never helped me sleep better at night.”

These statistics lack major granularity. They’re accessible and free to all shippers. Even the more granular statistics on the STB website — ones that divide the data into train type, for example — don’t go deep enough to achieve network visibility.

It’s time to up the data ante, which is what we’re doing at RailState. Take our white paper on the BC Washouts, for example. When the washouts impacted our customers, system-average statistics were useless to them. Our data sent them alerts the minute the washouts hit. It kept them up-to-date on what was moving (if at all) and how it was being prioritized. They had exact, real-time data about how their shipments were affected — even once normal operations resumed.

RailState’s data was game-changing during a crisis. Imagine having access to it 24/7? That’s worthwhile data.

Read the full white paper here.

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