June 18, 2021

Railroads are on the cusp of a great era of end-to-end visibility and automation of operations using cognitive technologies. The challenge is to leverage the trillions of bytes of information generated from multiple sources including tracks, equipment and payloads with the best available and easy to use AI/ML tools and product. The vision is for railroads to harness a connected intelligence, simultaneously targeting safety, sustainability, efficiency and customer expectations.

Cognitively enabled operations can proactively identify risks of assets, processes and operational systems.  They also provide recommendations to optimize operations set points, and intelligent interventions in real time or near real time.  This avoids expensive downtime and drives improved safety and reliability by processing huge volume of data from cross-functional areas of the organization. The outcome is a safer, more secure and consistent work environment allowing railroad companies to become more agile and sustainable in a fast-changing business environment.  Cognitive operations examples include:

Asset integrity & predictive maintenance:  Enables operations to detect assets with high probability of failure and suggest optimum asset rehabilitation strategies by analyzing data from various sources such as railroad operation planning systems, asset maintenance systems and current asset status

Intelligent track testing:  Analyzes the data and correlations across the multiple parameters impacting rail track conditions, identify anomalies across multiple parameters impacting rail track conditions, optimize track inspection efforts, reduce track downtime and recommend optimal inspection frequency scheduling.

Reduce carbon footprint of assets:  Improves operations and maintenance, decrease energy consumption, and reduce the carbon footprint of assets through taking a holistic approach to the entire asset lifecycle in a ‘cradle to the grave’ approach resulting in increased railroad system integrity and sustainability.

Remote Operations Center:  Delivers an integrated-decision workspace empowering operators to assess contextual data of near real-time status, location, and local environment across all assets, it also accommodates evaluation of the impact of multiple decision-based-scenarios for optimizing efficiency and safety.

TCS Intelligent Urban ExchangeTM (IUX) is a purpose-built data & analytics platform for the Railroad Industry enabling rail enterprises to meet the requirements of the connected and intelligent railroads vision. It provides pre-built cognitive solutions which help railroad companies deploy faster, reduce time to value and TCO.

IUX is a powerful enterprise insights platform which has been used to develop AI/ML solutions in multiple domains including railroads. The platform combines end-to-end data-analytics and visualization capabilities with scalability, configurability and easy-to-use drag and drop interfaces. It simplifies data integration, data transformation and curation to create the enterprise data fabric and generate insights with modeling, alerts and workflow automation, and dashboarding through easy GIS integration.

These capabilities empower railroad organizations to cost effectively analyze the current state, and proactively optimize the targeted maintenance, of rail tracks and railroad network health, drastically reducing end-to-end system upkeep costs while maintaining superior safety.

IUX can easily ingest the railway sensor and enterprise data toward the goal of intelligent, connected cognitive operations.  This innovative solution helps railroad companies become operationally resilient, achieve operational agility, improve operational efficiency by harnessing full value of their IoT and organizational data.

Hossein is a Business Relationship Manager for TCS Digital Software & Solutions.