SBB Cargo is upgrading its railcars with RFID

Automation and digitisation at SBB Cargo enables localisation of railcars on the track

SBB Cargo is upgrading its railcars with RFID

The automation at SBB Cargo makes the Swiss cargo railway technologically fit for the future demands of the market. SBB Cargo is developing three areas: “Asset intelligence” makes available new technologies for cargo railcars. Today, 150 railcars with temperature control and weighing technology are on the rails.

The intelligent cargo railcar is being developed with new components being added. The project “efficient shunting and train composition” is aimed to modernise and industrialise shunting operations. “Wayside intelligence” allows to identify railcars by their number passing defined points in the network, and check their condition.

Equipping all freight waggons of SBB Cargo with RFID enables sending an arrival alarm to the customer when the railcar enters the company premises, pinpoint tracking of the waggons in the rail network or checking the waggon order. The expansion will start these days. In a first series 1,000 general cargo waggons will be equipped before the end of this year, and some 5,000 railcars by the end of 2017.

Using RFID, or radio-frequency identification allows to specify at what time a particular railcar has passed a certain place. Based on the stored data of the waggon, the customer system can also show what this railcar has loaded. In addition, the system automatically provides information on the waggon order at the loading point or generates arrival and departure alarms. Thus SBB Cargo offers new opportunities and creates new rail logistics concepts for its clients.