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New Monitoring System Provides Infrastructure Information to Railroads

By Juhi Fadia
March 04, 2020

For more than 150 years, the rail network has contributed to the growth of the U.S. economy whether carrying passengers, freight or both. In 2017, rail service providers carried about one-third of America’s exports, and delivered five tons of freight and 85,000 passengers each day.

The OneRail Coalition has released a policy proposal with the organization’s priorities for the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, which is currently set to expire on Sept. 30, 2020. These priorities include predictable, long-term funding, improving grade crossing safety, accelerating Positive Train Control (PTC) implementation and operation, job creation, tax credit reform, fast-tracking of federally-funded rail projects, and advancement of rail research and technology projects to further spur innovation and improve service and safety.

Three companies recently announced a partnership in the “rail tech” space: ClearBlade, an IoT and Industrial IoT (IIoT) edge computing software company, Automated Railroad Maintenance Systems (ARMS), a railroad communications systems provider, and Transportation Products Sales Company (TPSC), a sales organization representing ClearBlade and ARMS to the to the North American rail market.

Together the companies announced the introduction of the ARMS Ario-GX, an Industrial IIoT Gateway designed with smart I/O to measure, monitor, and report status of remote assets to the Back Office, co-developed by ARMS and ClearBlade.

“With this pre-integrated, tested and scalable gateway, together our companies are able to deliver an easily implemented and managed end-to-end solution,” said Eric Simone, CEO, ClearBlade. “Working with ARMS, we’ve been able to develop a solid solution specifically designed to serve the industry as part of the digital transformation of rail transportation, given the expertise and experience the ARMS team brings to the table. Working with the professional sales team of TPSC and their vast knowledge and relationships in the rail industry, we demonstrated our joint capabilities to develop and roll out an advanced gateway designed for the harshest conditions and adaptable to all types of software and network communications protocols. We’re extremely proud of this partnership, product and ongoing collaboration.”

Sid Bakker, President of ARMS and TPSC said, “We are excited to combine ClearBlade’s IIoT software with ARMS’ rugged hardware to launch the Ario-GX Gateway to connect remote assets of the rail industry. The quest for a highly connected railroad is technically possible and affordable today. We are not stopping there. ClearBlade’s advanced software analytics combined with ARMS’ ArioSense family of wireless sensors enable powerful edge compute capabilities for preventive maintenance initiatives, including automated testing. TPSC is proud to represent ClearBlade’s software platform to the rail industry.”

According to the press release, the Ario-GX can connect anything, via any path, to the back office located on premise or in the cloud. Protocols include ITCM, TCP/IP, MQTT, Modbus/TCP, SNMP, CANBUS, and Echelon.

The gateway features eight isolated Digital Inputs, four isolated Analog Inputs, two Relays, with ability to increase I/O via expansion modules.

To learn about all sorts of IIoT innovations, join us at next year’s IoT Evolution Expo 2021: It’s Time to Grow, taking place in Miami in February. Call for papers now open.


Juhi Fadia is an engineer, analyst, researcher and writer covering advanced and emerging technologies.

Edited by Ken Briodagh

Correspondent

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