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RFID Solutions For Railway Industry

Aug 17, 2007
Railroads face a complex set of economic and operational challenges like competitive freight pricing, asset utilization and competition with trucking, capital expenditure levels, industry consolidation and debt management. Technology applications from GAORFID can aid the rail industry to evolve business solutions in enhancing revenue growth while reducing cost through efficient operations, maintenance, asset utilization and capacity management.

The GAO RFID systems technology provides exact location and status of any individual objectives mentioned above, and predicts their dynamic changes from the system, particularly the change of rail-wagon throughput at the marshalling sites, interface between local railways, confine interface. This enables timely, accurate and integral information and decision assistance for the management of train transportation and the customer. The system contains the sub-systems of Confirmation, Freight Billing, Transportation Planning, Train Marshalling, Train Dispatching, Real-time Tracking of Train and Container, Prediction of Train Throughput and Revenue Run, etc. GAO RFID provides end-to-end Railroad / Transit application management services


a) A GAO RFID Railway system is available in a number of configurations designed to economically meet a full range of service requirements. Reader systems provide automated tracking of railcars via RFID tags, and make railcar location information available to railroads for asset management and other purposes.

b) Traffic and Passenger Information: The system provides accurate and reliable information about where a train is located. This real-time information is forwarded to IT systems and used to update the passenger information displays at stations and terminals.

c) Operation and Maintenance: Precise information about the configuration of wagons within a train can be provided automatically by the system. This information can be integrated with other systems such as track inspection systems, so that the recorded information can be automatically matched to the actual wagon, thus eliminating errors.

d) Location of the Train: The System with the help of the reader determines the location of the train by reading the tag identity as the train passes over the tag at speed. This location data is transferred to the onboard system and can be used to update passenger information automatically

e) Controlling and Positioning of Trains: Some onboard systems require a precise position of the train, for example to control stopping positions. The reader accurately reports the position when the train passes over an ID-tag.

In combination with requirements new applications can be rapidly prototyped and deployed. In addition to the standard configuration, our team of experienced engineers can design systems to meet specific application requirements. Some of the customized applications developed to integrate with the system

1. Track Inspection System
2. Signal Asset Tracking System
3. Safety Audit
4. Inventory and Maintenance
5. Equipment Distribution and Management
6. Car Accounting Systems
7. Rail Yard Information Management


a) The System stores tag data including time, date, train direction and speed.
b) It also responds to inquiries via modem and interfaces to scales, video systems and diagnostic and monitoring devices.
c) Timely data to increase capacity, speed, automation and operational flexibility
d) Arrival and departure data for signal and control operations

GAO Products for demanding RAIL RFID Applications

RFID technology developed a range of readers and ID-tags that fulfils the tough requirements of the rail industry. These products are used worldwide in railway applications which require identification and positioning at high speed, with high precision and in demanding environments.

GAO ID-tags

The ID-tags are mounted on the front, side, top or underneath each individual vehicle or on the sleepers in special tag fixings. The ID-tag is an extremely resistant, totally encapsulated and maintenance free. It has a predictable life of 6, 8 or 10 years, depending on model.

GAO Fixed Reader

Standard readers are suitable for Rail track-side installations. Readers can be installed at key locations such as stations, terminal entrances or maintenance locations. The reader identifies the ID-tag at a range of up to 6 meters and at passage speeds of up to 300km/h.

GAO Handheld Reader

The Handheld a 2.45 GHz RFID reader. The versatility of the industrial PDA together with the flexibility of RFID technology makes the Handheld reader an ideal supplement to stationary readers in applications such as train maintenance. The reader allows for quick and reliable on-the-spot identification and verification of objects such as wagons.

GAO Heavy Duty reader

Heavy Duty readers are ruggedized, designed to withstand environmental factors such as temperature, moisture, shock and vibration. This allows them to be mounted directly on the outside of vehicles. This reader can be used to provide positioning information for onboard systems on a train.
About the Author
GAORFID Technology Solutions Team
601 Milner Avenue, Suite 300
Toronto, Ontario
M1B 2K4
Tel: 416-292-0038
Fax: 416-292-2364
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