Each year, Railinc works in close coordination with the AAR's Railinc Project Support Working Committee and various AAR Committees to identify programs that will ensure the highest value from industry investments. In 2019, Railinc is working on projects associated with the following three multi-year programs, as well as additional projects.
Asset Health Strategic Initiative (AHSI)
The multi-year, multi-phase AHSI program focuses on solving rail network challenges related to asset health with the targets of reducing mechanical service interruptions, improving inspection quality, and increasing yard and shop efficiency. The following projects are aligned with the 10-year AHSI roadmap and come under the guidance of the AAR's Asset Health Strategy Committee.
- Asset Information Repository (AIR) Value Expansion 2019 — This project increases industry efficiency by enabling Class I railroads to address repairs across repair locations through synchronization with Asset Health industry data. The project will also advance bad- actor identification, single car air brake test data and analysis, and move forward on detector-based inspection, bad-actor identification, and derailment prevention scenarios.
- E-Train: Air Slip Priorities — This project will improve data quality, industry standard functionality, and aid regulatory modernization by supporting potential industry waivers and developing air slip support and metrics.
- Inspection Quality Value Expansion 2019 — This project will wrap up wayside detector scenarios by creating industry alerts for consumption.
- Detector Quality Monitoring (2018-2019) — This project expands the information flow to detector owners through new data validation capabilities, which will enable the IQ platform to continually monitor detector data and inform detector owners of potential issues such as sensor failures and false reads.
- Technology-Driven Train Inspection (Machine Vision) — This project will design industry technology-driven train inspection standards to be applied to available detector technologies. It will develop standards to define applicable automation levels and processes to manage network coverage.
- Equipment Failure Analysis (EFA) Value Expansion 2019 (2019-2020) — This project supports reductions in mechanical service interruptions by extending and enhancing the methodology and data analysis for identifying causes of component failures and repeated component inspections, replacements, or repairs.
- Automate Multi-Level Pool Billing: Phase III — This project is part of an increased efficiency effort to convert the current paper-based billing process to one modeled on the electronic Car Repair Billing system. The third phase will implement additional edits and enhancements, provide an exception-handling workflow, and provide a method to manage proprietary material and labor rates.
- Alert Management Modernization: Phase II (2019 -2020) — This project will add enhancements to the Early Warning system to support easier access to equipment health data and support better informed operating decisions. The priorities identified in the 2018 assessment include modernizing alerts and implementing changes to Early Warning prioritized by the TAG. Railinc will identify structural changes that may be required in existing systems.
- End of Train Device (EOTD) Utilization and Management Enhancements: Phase II — This project extends EOT device owner visibility by enabling the sharing of foreign EOT device location on railroads, and progresses next-generation standards development for communications, hardware, inspection and repair, and asset management.
Gateway Operations Services
The Gateway Operations Services program aims to help operations personnel better manage traffic conditions at major rail gateways, with current emphasis on Chicago. The program focuses on enabling the exchange of timely, accurate, and actionable information to support the Chicago Integrated Rail Operations Center (CIROC) and to facilitate proactive inter-carrier operations in the Chicago Terminal. Railinc will deliver the following Gateway Operations Services projects in 2019:
- Clear Path™ Value Expansion — The 2019 project continues to increase velocity and efficiency in the corridor through complete integration of railroad dispatch data in the new message format, delivering enhancements to several components of the Clear Path System, and advancing improvements in lineup data quality.
- Location Management: Phase III — The third phase of Railinc’s location management work supports collaborative efforts to improve safety and increase network efficiency through industry-wide GIS data sharing capabilities—including the rollout of the GIS change management solution—by providing version updates to Clear Path, Car Mileage, and other industry applications.
Positive Train Control
- Monitoring and Analysis of the Integrated Network: Core Data Exchange (MAIN-CDX) — This accelerated RPSWC project makes the diagnostic process more efficient by providing a technology platform for railroads to request and receive the necessary data from each other to assist in PTC interoperability. This project improves railroad operations, reduces support costs, and reduces train delay. A peer-to-peer data flow solution for all railroads that chose to integrate with the system was designed in 2018 and is being developed in 2019.
- PTC – Interoperable Lifecycle Management (ILM): Phase I — The 2019 ILM project centralizes the PTC system release and documentation process to create efficiency and cost savings. The master workflow platform being developed enables the industry to trace PTC standards requirements—and manage interoperable configuration items release dependencies and standards—to eliminate non-functional system conditions. This will eliminate the need for every railroad to analyze every configurable item and requirement change in every release of the system.
In addition to the projects associated with multi-year programs, the RPSWC has also approved the following two projects for 2019:
- Automated EOT Settlement through Railroad Clearinghouse: Phase II – EOT Hire Decision System (2019-2020) — Phase II of this effort to automate the settlement of EOT liability will provide an interface for handling any exceptions remaining after the completion of Phase I. Completion of all three phases will result in a fully automated and centralized settlement process.
- Accelerate Funding by Shortening URRWIN Settlement —This project will shorten the Unique Railroad Revenue Waybill Identification Numbers (URRWIN) settlement to 20 days (currently 30 days), creating a higher likelihood of settling before the month is out to support receiving of funds faster.