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Siemens RailFusion to turn big data into intelligence

Written by Jennifer Nunez, Assistant Editor, Railway Track & Structures
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On October 5 at Railway Interchange 2015, Siemens introduced RailFusion, a software solution that monitors and analyzes data points across an entire railroad's infrastructure, including onboard and wayside assets, such as road crossings and end-of-train devices.

The software provides operators insight into activity across an entire railway by remotely monitoring and capturing data from both Siemens and third-party devices located on the infrastructure. By inserting intelligence behind the captured data, the software can evolve to include predictive capabilities that will help railroads identify trends to better plan their operations and fix issues before they become a problem, resulting in greater time and cost savings.

Ways the cloud-based system helps with smarter decision-making for railroads include enabling devices located on rail infrastructure to communicate with one another to remotely determine the status and effectiveness of maintenance activities, road crossings and locomotive operation; accessing live crossing occupation information in order to direct first responders to the quickest and most available route to save time in an emergency; identifying incorrect device behavior, such as false crossing activation and offering remote control to authorized operators, allowing them to address the traffic situation; analyzing patterns along the railroads based on historical data so railroads can more accurately plan their operations to become more reliable and efficient and offering operators of all skill levels a platform to manage complex rail infrastructure.

“On any given railroad, there are trillions of data points being created by train systems and devices along a line, but this data is simply not being put into action,” said John Paljug, head of Siemens Rail Automation. “RailFusion brings all of these disparate data points together in one system and puts intelligence behind them, allowing railroads to make more informed, efficient decisions about how to operate and maintain their systems specific to their needs.”

RailFusion can interact with any devices or systems located on rail infrastructure including Positive Train Control (PTC). The software will offer operators the ability to monitor the health of a PTC network and the equipment providing services for the control system.

The information gathered by the RailFusion system is securely transmitted in real-time and stored in a Siemens data center where the analytics and reporting will be performed. The software is currently being piloted in North America.

To learn more about Siemens RailFusion, visit Siemens booth #1451 at Railway Interchange.

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