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 2018 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.

  • Alert Management Modernization — Planned enhancements to the Early Warning system will provide easier access to equipment health data and support more informed operating decisions. Additionally, this project will include a needs assessment for the modernization of industry alerts.

  • Asset Information Repository (AIR) Value Expansion 2018 — This project will contribute to reductions in mechanical service interruptions by expanding the bad actor identification value and refining the bad actor scorecard to include repair and automated single-car test data. Umler® data will be validated using information from detectors.

  • Automate Multi-Level Pool Billing - Phase 2 – Clearinghouse — This project is part of an effort to convert the current paper-based billing process to one modeled on the electronic Car Repair Billing system. The second phase of the work will validate data exchange outputs and leverage the Railroad Clearinghouse for invoice settlement. The AAR’s Specially Equipped Freight Car Committee is also providing guidance for this project.

  • Detector Quality Monitoring — New data validation capabilities will enable the Inspection Quality (IQ) platform to continually monitor detector data and inform detector owners of potential issues such as sensor failures and false reads.

  • End-of-Train Device Utilization and Management Enhancements — Increases in equipment velocity and utilization have outpaced processes and specifications that support the interoperability of end-of-train (EOT) devices. Enhanced EOT management capabilities will improve interoperability and functionality, as well as yard and shop efficiencies.

  • Equipment Failure Analysis (EFA) Value Expansion 2018 — This project will extend and enhance the methodology and data analysis for identifying causes for component failures and repeated component inspections, replacements or repairs, which will support reductions in mechanical service interruptions.

  • Inspection Quality Value Expansion 2018 — Work to support the move to condition-based inspections continues with this project. It builds on efforts to standardize characteristics, data quality, rules and data related to detector technology, which will support sharing of detector data in the Asset Health platform.

  • Locomotive Asset Health Priorities - Phase 2 — Expanding the equipment health information in the Asset Health platform to support basic locomotive data requirements will support increased velocity and utilization of the fleet and enhance visibility into information such as detector data, location information and inspections. The AAR’s Locomotive Committee is also providing guidance for this project.


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 Gateway Operations Services projects in 2018:

  • Clear Path™ Territory Expansion - Phase 2 — This project leverages new PTC-aligned data feeds in the Clear Path™ system to identify train position, train routing and dispatch authority at track level. It also extends visibility into train movement and stopped train identification to one crew change point outside Chicago. The Chicago Planning Group is providing guidance for this project.

  • Location Management - Phase 2 — The second phase of a three-phase roadmap continues work to develop industry processes and systems that will enable GIS data sharing capabilities among railroads, supporting collaborative efforts to improve safety and increase network efficiency. This project is overseen by the AAR’s GIS Committee.


In addition to the projects associated with multi-year programs, the RPSWC has also approved the following three projects for 2018:

  • Automate End-of-Train Device Settlement — This project will support automation of the business rules associated with the use and payment for end-of-train devices, reducing the manual effort required to settle charges for EOT device usage and enabling improvements in productivity and accuracy. The AAR’s Equipment Assets Committee is providing guidance for this project.

  • Component Tracking - Tank Car Valves — Using the existing component registration framework, Railinc will create the capability to register tank car valve components and associate them to individual pieces of equipment, supporting more effective recalls and enhanced asset management. The AAR’s Tank Car Committee is providing guidance for this project.

  • Forward and Store - 7050 EDI Upgrade — Updates to the EDI 417 and EDI 421 message types will deliver business process improvements and ensure the Forward and Store system is compliant with current EDI standards and regulatory requirements. The project is overseen by the AAR's EDI Working Committee.