Railroad and transportation companies use railway software not only to run their operations, but to decrease costs, increase efficiencies and gain a better understanding of the logistics of their business. But while most railway software is great at optimizing the railyard, trains, and tracks, it doesn’t keep track of outside forces such as the weather. And that leaves trains and railyard vulnerable.
The weather has a huge impact on the rail industry every year. Water is a particular problem. According to research by Michael Rossetti, water events play a role in over a fifth of all rail accidents and incidents and accounts for more than a quarter of all financial damages.¹
That’s why it is so important for railway software to include water intelligence tools. As an add-on to existing software, water intelligence tools leverage advanced hydrologic models with historical water events and forecasts to identify routes and trains at risk. Here are five reasons why railway software should include water intelligence tools.
5 Reasons Water Intelligence is Essential for Railway Software
1. Water Intelligence Improves Safety
Water intelligence tools leverage advanced forecasts to predict future weather patterns. As such, rail and freight operators can get advanced warnings of the location and severity of potential water events. This allows operators to identify the severity of rainfall or flooding and then make a decision on whether to reschedule trains or replan routes to avoid the affected areas or inspect rail infrastructure before sending trains out.
The advanced warning and planning makes it is much less likely that trains will be sent into hazardous conditions or suffer a water-related accident.
2. Accurate Analysis Can Reduce Delays
Water events don’t just decrease the safety of operators and passengers, they are also a huge factor in delays. Without an accurate weather analysis and predictions, railroad companies can’t act fast enough to counteract any problems and stay on schedule.
That’s not the case when water intelligence tools are added to railway software. With these tools in hand, operators can get advanced warning of severe water events up to 72 hours in advance and have the time to reroute trains if required.
3. Intelligence Increases Efficiency
When rail operators don’t have water intelligence tools attached to their railway software, they need to continuously monitor weather reports to identify when events will occur. This creates inefficient, repetitive, and manual tasks. But with water intelligence tools in place, alerts are proactively sent to staff allowing teams to not only prioritize more pressing matters but also to act fast when alerts do come through.
4. Water Event Analysis Can Lead to Improved Infrastructure
Standing water causes severe amounts of damage to rail infrastructures such as bridges, sleepers, and tracks. If infrastructure is left unattended, damage worsens. And that’s what happens when operators aren’t alerted quickly enough. With water intelligence tools, operators can identify which pieces of infrastructure to prioritize when it comes to maintenance thereby increasing the security and longevity of infrastructure.
Water intelligence tools also help railroad companies identify areas where water events often damage infrastructure. Companies can then take steps to upgrade or shift infrastructure to better protect it in the future.
5. Water Intelligence Tools Can Cut Costs
Finally, water intelligence tools can have incredible cost-saving benefits. When all of the points discussed above are taken together, operators can save on the cost of damage to carriages, delays, staff time and the cost of infrastructure. That makes for a huge return on a relatively small investment.
Add Water Intelligence to Railway Software to Improve Operations
Water intelligence takes advantage of new technology to add a layer of sophistication and efficiency to railway software. It incorporates internal and external data sources from your organization, weather monitors, and IoT devices to get the data you need to reduce the impact of water events on your railroad.
Most water intelligence tools are easy to tack on to your current railway software as well. Look for a tool that includes integrations and can combine data from multiple sources to give you the best information.