Iowa Interstate Railroad Equips Entire Locomotive Fleet with Streaming Event Recorder and Advanced Video Analytics Technology

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Wi-Tronix, smart rail technology provider, launches its Violet™ system on IAIS to improve railroad’s efficiency and safety.

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“We truly appreciate Wi-Tronix in the way they listened to what we needed and got it done,” said Joe Parsons, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at IAIS. “They are a true partner."

Wi-Tronix, LLC formally announced today that it has equipped Iowa Interstate Railroad’s (IAIS) entire locomotive fleet with Violet™.

Violet™ is a real-time, streaming event recorder and advanced video analytics solution that railroads use to manage their fleets through the Wi-Tronix website, offered as a cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS), from anywhere in world on any device.

The Violet™ hardware platform consists of an event recorder (ER), digital video recorder (DVR), Locomotive Data Acquisition Recording System (LDARS), and Crash-Hardened Memory Module (CHMM) in a single compact device.

The key difference between Violet™ and other products is its streaming, real-time data capabilities. Data from the locomotive like speed, Positive Train Control (PTC) data, GPS location, throttle notch, and dozens of other signals are sent to the railroad via a cloud-based website. Information is accessible to railroad management to monitor efficiency of operations and location and safety of fleet. The solution enables railroads to comply with federal regulations and to improve operational efficiency and safety procedures.

IAIS’s installation of Violet™ on its entire fleet allows the railroad to realize the fullest benefits of the system by connecting its assets to a digital network.

IAIS has found many additional applications of the Violet™ solution, especially in advanced video analytics. Violet™ aggregates petabytes of video data in an Internet of Things approach to create actionable information from the locomotive video. Using Violet, IAIS completed video surveys of its mileposts along the track’s right-of-way. Violet’s high-definition cameras and video analytics software analyze the milepost signage and compile the data to create an automated survey and database of all the mileposts. This saves the railroad significant time, cost, and resources by completing a geo-mapping survey during normal locomotive operation.

IAIS is the first railroad to complete geo-mapping surveys of its mileposts using Violet’s artificial intelligence-based video analytics.

According to Andrew Reid, IAIS’s Chief Mechanical Officer of Locomotives, IAIS uses the real-time streaming alerts to monitor its automatic engine start/stop systems. The data provides the team with important information to ensure these systems are functioning properly in order for their locomotives to realize maximum fuel savings.

IAIS also has the opportunity, like all Wi-Tronix customers, to contribute feedback and requests for future software features. These features become available in software releases that are pushed through over-the-air updates to the locomotive hardware. In essence, the solution continuously advances and grows with the railroad to deliver lasting value.

“We truly appreciate Wi-Tronix in the way they listened to what we needed and got it done,” said Joe Parsons, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at IAIS. “They are a true partner, which is refreshing as that is an extremely uncommon attribute for most vendors. We look forward to a continued, successful partnership with Wi-Tronix.”

The Violet™ system also meets federal requirements of recording Positive Train Control (PTC) data. PTC is the federally-mandated safety system required for rail lines over which 5 million or more gross tons are transported annually—that handle any poisonous-inhalation-hazardous (PIH) materials and any railroad main lines over which regularly scheduled intercity passenger or commuter rail services are provided. PTC automatically stops a train to avoid train-to-train collisions and other safety-related accidents.

PTC generates many event logs, including PTC banner messages and prompts. These messages appear on the in-cab monitor prompting an engineer to take action for braking a train. Violet™ displays these messages within the Violet View webpage and fuses data including PTC message, speed, location, maps, and real-time images. Violet™ displays real-time data creates a historical log of PTC data in order to simplify troubleshooting system issues and investigating incidents.

More information about Violet™ is available at

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