For several years, Class 1 railroads have been searching for and experimenting with various types of machine vision along the tracks to identify any problems with a train while it is moving down the line. In December 2019, CSX implemented what it’s calling a “Train Inspection Portal,” or TIP, which looks at a train from several angles to ensure everything is intact and working properly. Any problems are quickly relayed to the back office.
The portal looks like a miniature tunnel, but extends approximately 15 ft above the train. As the train passes through, an array of 23 cameras look at and make photographs while the train is rolling at full speed. It doesn’t matter if the train is rolling northbound or southbound, the cameras provide a 360-degree view, which inspects areas of the car that a carman is not able to see. Sheriee Bowman, a spokeswoman for CSX, says that “It allows a 360-degree view of the railcars to support what the carmen are doing in the yard, and catching a defect before it becomes critical.”
The TIP is located between Jacksonville, Fla., and Waycross, Ga., because, due to its location near CSX’s largest hump yard, located in Waycross, Ga., a great variety of traffic and freight cars use this line.
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