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Automatic Wagon Scans to Speed up Train Logistics

To find out what is inside a wagon today when it enters a freight terminal, operators need to manually record its reference number and other information such as the presence of hazardous goods.  This requires a lot of time and dedicated staff. A new Intelligent Video Gate will scan and transfer information on the wagons automatically as they enter the freight warehouse.

Shift2Rail-funded researchers are developing an ‘Intelligent Video Gate’, able to recognise and transfer incoming and outgoing wagon data when crossing the terminal gantry, using computer vision and RFID-readers for tagged wagons.

Members of the developing team are presenting at InnoTrans an initial mock-up of the system, using only a camera, a spotlight and the RFID reader. The prototype takes a picture each time a wagon passes in front of the camera and reads its RFID tag. Then, the system matches the records from both sources and a web interface shows both the information in real time and the historical records.

The demonstrators at InnoTrans gathers information on company code, side indicator, ILU code, UIC-wagon number and possible dangerous cargo signs.

When fully developed, the system will be able to extract information also on the current physical state and possible damages of the wagon and units, axle distance, instant speed, and alarms for out-of-gauge and out-of-conformity.

The ‘Intelligent Video Gate’ accelerates and improves the data quality and reliability of the inbound processes, reduces dwell times and increases punctuality as well as terminal capacity.