AAR Industry Projects

Each year, Railinc works in close coordination with the AAR's Railinc Project Support Working Committee and various AAR Committees to identify programs that will ensure the highest value from industry investments. In 2017 Railinc is working on projects associated with the following two multi-year programs, as well as additional projects.

Asset Health Strategic Initiative (AHSI)
The multi-year, multi-phase AHSI program focuses on solving rail-network challenges related to asset health with the targets of reducing mechanical service interruptions, improving inspection quality, and increasing yard and shop efficiency. The following projects are aligned with the 10-year AHSI roadmap and come under the guidance of the AAR's Asset Health Strategy Committee.

  • Asset Information Repository (Air) Value Expansion 2017 — This project will augment bad-actor equipment tracking to enhance the level of detail in the equipment scorecard, helping to increase the success rate for identifying equipment causing line-of-road failures. The project will also develop a dynamic subscription engine that will enable users to subscribe to specific data types, supporting more efficient data processing by railroads.

  • Inspection Quality Value Expansion 2017 — This AHSI project will produce new data summaries for wheel profile detectors (WPD) and wheel impact load detectors (WILD), as well as WILD alerts and other data summaries to address line-of-road failures. These new capabilities will support integration and sharing of detector data in the Asset Health platform and support the move to condition-based inspections.

  • Equipment Failure Analysis - Phase 3 — This project will focus on the reporting of railroad derailment and mechanical defect data from railroads to support analysis of equipment-failure causes across the industry. This project supports proactive monitoring of industry data, will result in faster identification of root causes for equipment issues, and will help to reduce mechanical service interruptions and derailments.

  • Automate Multi-Level Pool Billing Data Exchange — Multi-level pool billing is currently a paper-based process that limits the ability to track equipment-level repairs and the visibility railroads and car owners have into these repairs. This project will convert the process to one modeled on the electronic AAR Car Repair Billing (CRB) system, standardizing how data are reported and edited and how billings are calculated among participants. It will support better understanding of asset health and will improve visibility into pool billing.

  • Locomotive Asset Health Priorities - Phase 1 — This project expands equipment health information in the Asset Health platform to support basic locomotive data requirements. It will focus on developing processes to capture and share enhanced locomotive inspection data to reduce inspection-related delays. The project also will include research around detector and sensor data sharing and component tracking to help railroads identify and communicate about issues with locomotives and components.

Gateway Operations Services
The Gateway Operations Services program aims to help operations personnel better manage traffic conditions at major rail gateways, with current emphasis on Chicago. The program focuses on enabling the exchange of timely, accurate and actionable information to support the Chicago Integrated Rail Operations Center (CIROC) and to facilitate proactive inter-carrier operations in the Chicago Terminal. Railinc will deliver the following projects in 2017 under the guidance of the AAR's Chicago Planning Group, the Chicago Transportation Coordination Office (CTCO) and CIROC:

  • Clear Path - Chicago Territory Expansion — This project will enhance visibility to trains headed to and from Chicago, helping to reduce the frequency of train stoppages and supporting improved management of terminal traffic flow. It will expand the feed of train dispatching data supporting the Clear Path suite of applications to include territory that is one crew change point outside the Chicago Terminal. The applications will be modified to accommodate the larger footprint and will display additional geographic information about the expanded territory and details about trains operating in the region.

  • Clear Path - Scorecard—Headlight Metrics — This project will develop metrics for daily use by terminal personnel on the count of all trains heading to and originating from the Chicago Terminal by hour, origin/destination and corridor. This will help to optimize resource allocation, improve train transit time and reduce conflicts with maintenance-of-way work in the terminal. The project will leverage data flows implemented in 2016 that improved visibility into ETAs and movement in yards and corridors and will increase the level of precision of Clear Path's Terminal Forecasts. Terminal officers also will be alerted to current and forecasted areas of corridor oversubscription.

In addition to the projects associated with multi-year programs, the RPSWC has also approved the following seven projects for 2017:

  • AskRail - Industry Solution — This project incorporates additional high-value functionality to support incident response and management by emergency responders. It also will enhance security around the application's user management process. The AAR's Hazmat Committee is providing guidance for this project.

  • Industry Use of Emergency Response Guide Information — This project will update the monthly emergency response output file with information from the Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG), the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration's official guidebook for emergency responders. This project will support railroads by providing emergency responders with easy access to ERG information. The AAR's Hazmat Committee is providing oversight for this project.

  • Loading Authority (OT-5) Enhancements — This project will enhance the Loading Authority (OT-5) application with data related to areas such as controlling entity and mechanical information. Its purpose is to reduce the time required to make important decisions about private freight cars submitted for approval for placement into use on a railroad. It will help to reduce the costs associated with researching and approving applications for both carriers and shippers. The project is overseen by the AAR's Equipment Assets Committee.

  • Car Hire Rule 22 Serving Area File — This project will provide the industry with a centralized reference location for serving area information that is critical to the Car Hire Rule 22 reclaim process. This work will help to prevent inaccurate reclaims and counter reclaims. The AAR's Equipment Assets Committee is providing guidance for this project.

  • Automate End-of-Train Device Settlement — This project will automate business rules that are associated with the use and payment for end-of-train (EOT) devices. It will reduce the substantial manual effort now required to settle charges for EOT device use, enabling improved productivity and enhanced accuracy. The AAR's Equipment Assets Committee is providing guidance for this project.

  • Interline Operations Safety Documentation Repository and Exchange — Foreign carrier personnel must have with them a host railroad's most up-to-date safety rules when operating on the host railroad. This project will automate the exchange of these rules documents between interline partners, ensuring the information is shared automatically in a timely, reliable and accurate manner. The AAR's Operating Practices Committee is providing guidance for this project.

  • ISS 7030 EDI Upgrade — Rail carriers use the Interline Settlement System® to settle millions of dollars in interline revenue each month. This project upgrades revenue waybill EDI 426 to version 7030, delivering business process improvements and ensuring that the revenue waybill exchange meets current EDI standards. The project is overseen by the AAR's Interline Revenue Committee.