Rail Cargo Group launches its major project of “smart” freight trains

13,700 RCG wagons to be equipped with telematic devices in cooperation with A1 until the end of 2020

Rail Cargo Group launches its major project of “smart” freight trains

The Rail Cargo Group (RCG), the freight transport division of ÖBB, is working on its SmartCargo project in cooperation with the companies A1 and A1 Digital. In the future, special telematics on RCG wagons will enable new services for customers as well as significantly improved and even more efficient maintenance coordination.

By the end of 2020, the RCG freight cars will permit position detection, motion sensors and shock detection. Through the additional development of an IT platform, RCG and communications provider A1 are gradually putting intelligent freight trains on track.

At the kick-off event on February 4 at the ÖBB headquarters, the SmartCargo project was officially launched. RCG board spokesman Clemens Först and A1 CEO Marcus Grausam presented the waggon technology of the future. Around 13,700 RCG wagons will be fitted with a SmartCargo device, which provides comprehensive information along the entire freight transport chain. A position sensor provides precise GPS coordinates of the rail car at predefined intervals.

Another sensor provides reliable motion detection independent of GPS reception, while the 3D accelerometer sensor is used to detect shocks and monitor the transport of sensitive goods. In addition, the system can use geofencing to send an instant message when it exceeds pre-defined zones, such as country borders. In the absence of network coverage for data transmission, the hardware also has an SMS fallback level.

As part of initial tests, around 300 rail cars are currently being fitted with SmartCargo. At the same time, an IT platform will be created, where all information about a specific transport can be called up digitally. It will also be possible to integrate third-party waggons that are part of the train but are not owned by RCG. Thus, the RCG and A1 are taking a significant step towards rail freight transport of the future.

www.a1.net; www.railcargo.com