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Explore GE Transportation’s Digital Solutions for the rail ecosystem

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Welcome to the second in a four-part series showcasing GE Transportation’s Digital Solutions. This post continues to explore the rail ecosystem’s software solutions, including RailConnectTM, Movement Planner, Smart Automotive Terminal (SAT) and Smart Intermodal Terminal (SIT).

RailConnect TMS/RMS/EMS

The RailConnectTM System is the leading software offering for mission-critical rail transportation management including rail operations control through TMS, revenue settlement using RMS and car hire accounting using EMS.

The RailConnect Transportation Management Services (TMS) and Revenue Management Services (RMS) are designed to provide railroad managers with operational control of their business. These systems are extremely robust and are constantly evolving as the number of RailConnect users from Alaska to the Yucatan Peninsula continues to grow.

It is a given that most railroad software packages can perform many of the same basic features as GE Transportation’s RailConnect TMS and RMS systems. What sets GE Transportation’s offerings apart from others are the advanced features that are available to all users no matter their size or complexity.   These features utilize modern technology to provide railroads with tools they can use to grow revenue, reduce costs and provide value-added services to their own customers.

altRailConnect TMS application provides an integrated operation control system that is portable for use at railroads and railyards of all sizes.  The RailConnect TMS database is designed around the railcar and billing information.  Each piece of equipment on the railroad, including railroad cars, trailers and container - empty or loaded - are logically attached to their respective billing information. Master files, set up once, are used to supply repetitive information, including waybill generation, during daily processing. These masters are also used to validate data entered and enable the user to customize the system for a particular railroad.

Owing to the structure of the RailConnect TMS database, it is always possible to find all of the information concerning the invoice and the movement of a car. If the user looks at any train within TMS, he or she can see the total length of the train along with its tonnage, braking information and the information of its railcars. The user can also specify individual railcars to determine which containers they are carrying as well as all the information relative to the location and billing of each railcar or container. One more key stroke permits the user to see the entire history of the railcar or the container with all its movements, including arrivals and departures from loading points.

Finally, the protection of revenues, security and integrity of data has always had a lot of importance in the creation of our software. RailConnect TMS ensures that all movements will be invoiced and that only those authorized persons will have access to this extremely critical information.

The final solution of RailConnect is Equipment Management System (EMS), or simply Car Hire. This car hire accounting system handles car hire liability for car owners and users. The system was developed over the course of 35 years and is best-in-class for reliable processing of car hire liability. For car users, our Payables product provides automated processing of movement events from Railinc’s LCS and GE’s TMS. Moves are used to easily process complex reclaims and custom rate agreements. With a comprehensive view of car liability, Payables can calculate car hire more accurately than any other product offering on the market. For car owners, GE’s Car Hire Receivables product provides thorough audits of money due and innovative claims handling. GE’s Car Hire system has been and will continue to be the most trusted car accounting solution for the smallest short lines to the world’s largest Class 1 railroads.

To learn more about how GE Transportation’s RailConnect system can help your railroad, watch the animated RailConnect video:

Movement Planner

Throughout the current rail landscape trains are dispatched manually by regions resulting in low train speeds, delays and sub-optimal performance. These issues have been a constant pain point for Class I’s and Shortline railroads.

As an operator wouldn’t it be great to increase throughput and deliver on-time for your customers? What about the ability to increase capacity of existing network without spending on new track? How about the ability to identify network conflicts hours in advance and improve resource utilization?

altWith GE Transportation’s Movement Planner and Movement Planner Network Viewer, the ability to accomplish all of this is now in reach and easy to obtain.  Movement Planner intelligently analyzes and optimizes traffic, allowing more trains to run on the same railroad at faster speeds, without laying new track. This advanced software solution uses real-time network data to help dispatchers manage trains across the network—from identifying potential scheduling conflicts to increasing the capacity and fluidity of your entire network. Meet-pass decisions are quick and easy. Train conflicts are detected up to 24 hours in advance and ETA predictions are more accurate and timely.

Network Viewer now provides all railroads the flexibility to add specific capabilities like building blocks to satisfy their railroads need based on scale and size.

Learn more about how Movement Planner and Movement Planner Network Viewer can help your railroad with this digital solutions from GE.

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SAT/SIT

SAT - Smart Automotive Terminal

After a vehicle is ordered or purchased, it usually takes a journey from the manufacturing plant to the dealer’s parking lot with some stops and hand-offs in between. These stops and hand-offs require careful planning and execution. A key player for this process is the railroad automotive distribution center responsible for getting the vehicles transported for the most duration of that journey.  All vehicle movements in the railroad terminals and network need to be planned, tracked and managed every step of the way, and reliable assets management and efficient terminal operations capabilities are critical.

As a result, GE introduced Smart Automotive Terminal (SAT). SAT is a modern technology platform with an enhanced level of functionality for automotive distribution operations in railroad facilities.  Built on GE’s Predix™ platform, SAT services and application modules include Shipment Management, Railcar Management, Case Management and Inventory Management. Most importantly, SAT will embed optimization algorithms for load planning, task sequencing, and network planning to ensure efficient, on-time delivery of all automotive assets. Additional upgrades include an inspection and work order system.

 Below are some benefits SAT will bring to your organization:

  • Intuitive interfaces that improve ease of use and productivity
  • Operating improvements through optimization of tactical planning, load planning, and ramp operations
  • Support for efficient gate and terminal operations that reduce operating cost
  • Improve service quality
  • Improved network visibility and customer/haul-away communication
  • Increase terminal contractor productivity
  • Increase system scalability and agility
  • Accurate vehicle/railcar movement states

SIT – Smart Intermodal Terminal

For many years, the core capabilities of the existing OASIS™ - GE’s Intermodal Terminal Operating System - have delivered positive outcomes for our customers. In order to meet today’s intermodal rail network challenges of rising demand, limited capacity and technology changes, GE is building the next generation of Intermodal Operating System called Smart Intermodal Terminal (SIT).

Smart Intermodal Terminal is a real-time terminal operating system designed to support a wide variety of intermodal rail, yard and gate operations. It provides intelligent decision automation to efficiently manage inbound and outbound rail operations, gate operations, work order management and yard inventory maintenance.  Smart Intermodal Terminal will operate using Cloud Foundry technology, a cloud-based solution built for industrial applications, data and analytics.

The Smart Intermodal Terminal Operation System is based on the best features of the current OASIS™ platform with the addition of leading-edge innovation in computing and intelligent automation through smart algorithms. The key areas of focus for the Smart Intermodal terminal are:

Automated Smart Planning

  • Smart railcar assignment
  • Smart container location assignments
  • Smart work order generation

Automatic Plan Execution

  • Remote control & crane automation
  • Advanced gate processing
  • Assets tracking and inventory management

Advanced Usability

  • Predix Platform & Cloud Based Service
  • User experience oriented design
  • Data analytics and mobility


Smart Intermodal Terminal supports world class terminal operations in terms of functionality, reliability and performance. SIT offers the following benefits:

  • Improves Terminal throughput
  • Improves capacity with existing infrastructure
  • Enhanced visibility to terminal inventory
  • Speed and reliable terminal operations
  • Intuitive user interfaces for ease of use
  • Data Analytics and Reporting

Think one of these solutions work for your team? Contact us at 404-355-6734 or send us an email at railconnect.support@ge.com

Check back soon for a look at the train from LocoVision and LOCOTROL DP to Rail Integrity Monitor and Trip Optimizer.

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