‘Intelligent’ freight on the agenda
The ever-expanding use of smart technology in the freight sector was on the agenda at the start of a major conference. Rail professionals from across the world are in Naples this week for the Intelligent Rail Summit, which started on Tuesday.
Thought-provoking presentations, enlightening Q&A sessions and some good old-fashioned networking were the perfect combination as ideas and innovations ranging from the installation of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) on freight wagons to the development of contactless pantograph monitoring were discussed.
The opening day was focused on the continued development of Wayside Train Monitoring Systems (WTMS), and proceedings were kicked off by Dr Andreas Schobel from the Vienna University of Technology. He introduced the first speaker, Antonio D’Agostino of the European Railways Agency, who gave an overview of how Wayside Train Monitoring Systems can contribute to a new era of Common Occurrence Reporting, but only in conjunction with better working between EU countries.
Reporting safety issues
“An essential part of our work is to remove barriers to have an effective reporting culture,” he said. “This is difficult work. Member states have different judicial systems and different cultures. In some countries reporting safety issues is seen as a positive behaviour. In other countries, a strong blame culture is limiting the number of reports.”
Further presentations included a delivery from Paul Bladon of Wayside Inspection Devices, on improving the utilisation of bogie (truck) performance detectors; David Krasensky of Starmon s.r.o. who provided a case study of the Czech National Railway, and Michael Osterkamp of Progress Rail Inspection and Information Systems GmbH, on Train Monitoring with Combined Intelligent Checkpoints.
The conference runs until November 24th, focusing today on Infrastructure Measuring and Monitoring, and tomorrow Big Data in Railway Operations.
Joan Blaas of conference organisers ProMedia Europoint, said: “It has been a very rewarding and engaging day. We have heard some excellent ideas from the stage, and the networking sessions have provided the perfect opportunity for everyone to share their ideas, many of which are already delivering benefits in the rail freight sector, and have the potential to do much more.”
Daily summaries of the event are on the Railtech website.