Digital evolution is here in many systems of the industries we know  and work in, but what does this mean for freight rail? The term “digital evolution” can be difficult to define. For our purposes, we’ll consider the digital evolution of freight rail to be the increasingly widespread and necessary use of digital technologies and data to support the operations of freight railroads. This includes everything from derailment detection and prevention to automated maintenance scheduling.

There are a number of factors driving the digital evolution of freight rail. First, as society becomes increasingly reliant on just-in-time delivery, freight railroads must find ways to optimize their operations and increase efficiency. This means reducing transit times, increasing capacity, and improving reliability – all while adhering to ever-changing government regulations. Additionally, the globalization of the economy has led to an increase in rail shipments of intermodal containers and bulk commodities. This has put pressure on freight railroads to find ways to move these large and heavy loads more quickly and efficiently.

The digital evolution of freight rail is well underway, with many railroads already implementing digital technologies and data-driven solutions. For example, some railroads are using predictive analytics to identify maintenance issues before they occur. This allows for proactive repairs and avoids potential delays or disruptions down the line. Other railroads are using GPS tracking to monitor train movements in real-time, which helps with route planning and scheduling. And still  others are using drones to inspect track infrastructure, which is a much safer and more efficient method than traditional ground-based inspections. Predictive maintenance schedules through these monitoring systems are preventing accidents and keeping trains more efficient.

Looking to the future, the digital evolution of freight rail will only continue. Railroads will need to find ways to incorporate new technologies and make use of data in order to stay ahead of the competition. Those that don’t will likely be left behind.

For nearly half a century, Swartz Engineering has been at the forefront of industry safety. They are a family-owned company specializing in power distribution for the electrical industry. They are the leading manufacturer of Electrical Supply House. Our design ensures maximum flexibility for excellent reliability and a high return on investment.