What is Railway IoT?

Railway Internet of Things (IoT) uses asset connectivity, remote diagnostics and precise position monitoring to improve the efficiency of railway operations through data driven analytics and decision-making.

Railway IoT can be applied to your fleet of locomotives or can also include all of your rail yard equipment and Maintenance of Way assets for a holistic view of your railway. You can find a more in depth explanation about Railway IoT here.

How can Railway IoT solutions help maximize asset utilization?

ZTR can provide railway analytics, operational reports and business system integration to improve the management of equipment availability, utilization, fuel efficiency & velocity.  Some of the features we deliver on our Railway IoT platform include:

·        Location and Geo-fencing

·        Operational / Idle Time

·        Notch Position and Duration

·        Fault Data, Fuel Level and Battery Health

·        Fleet Health Information and Alerts

·        Reports and Analytics

·        Event Recorder / LDARS Integration

·        Maintenance System Integration

We can create a complete end to end solution, allowing customers to understand the utilization of all of their assets. That includes locomotives, Maintenance of Way vehicles and yard assets.

And we can help customers understand not just whether assets are being used efficiently, but we can also provide a deeper understanding of the reasons why.

Information can be provided on dead batteries, equipment breakdowns, operator issues, fuel consumption, out of fuel events, fuel fill events, asset health information, etc.

When railroads understand the utilization of assets they can make more informed decisions, for instance, when to offload or park excess equipment or when to lease additional equipment.

How can this help with fleet management?


With GPS and idle time data, a railroad can understand at which location assets are being underutilized and redeploy them to other locations. Lost assets cannot be utilized. With geo-fencing, which is like a virtual ‘fence’ around your asset, you always know where your equipment is and can be notified when it’s removed from a specific radius.

Operational Efficiency

By connecting assets, a railroad can understand not just the amount an asset is being utilized, but also how. Detailed utilization reports can let a railroad understand when locomotives are being used and also how long in each notch position. The less time a locomotive spends idling and the more time spent in higher notch positions, the more this can assist a railroad in understanding operational efficiencies.

Asset Health

Fleet and asset health reports allow a customer to understand which assets are healthy and which assets have reliability issues allowing systemic fleet issues to be addressed quickly. Proactive maintenance is now possible, enabling asset health issues to be addressed before they become larger issues that can take longer to fix. When location data is added, maintenance crews can be dispatched to an asset’s exact location, with the parts required, avoiding time consuming shop visits. With individual diagnostic reports, repair shops can be better prepared for asset maintenance when the asset arrives at a shop, making it available for useful work again sooner.

Fuel and Availability

When a locomotive runs out of fuel or makes unnecessary stops to fill its fuel tank, this takes it in and out of available service. If a railroad can understand, in real time, the volume of fuel left in the tank, it can avoid having the locomotive make an unnecessary stop for fuel or schedule a fill up to ensure the unit is able to make it to its final destination. Understanding when an asset needed fuel and how long it took to have it refueled, can help a railroad understand where they might have inefficient refueling operations.

If you’d like to learn more about fuel management, we can provide deeper knowledge for you in a blog you can access here.

Asset utilization and fuel management are just two of the many benefits of Railway IoT. Our brochure here can give you more details. And please contact us if you have any other questions.