RailPulse: Next-Gen Rail Car Tracking

Large Retina | GPS devices are providing real-time information and visibility

GPS devices are providing real-time information and visibility of rail cars’ location, condition and health.

Union Pacific employees may notice some new tech riding the rails this fall – 50 rail cars equipped with a GPS device on the back are being released onto the network, providing real-time information and visibility of the car’s location, condition and health to shippers, rail car owners and railroads.

Union Pacific, through its partnership with the RailPulse coalition, is accelerating the use of GPS and other telematics technologies to increase shipment visibility and enhance the customer experience, ultimately attracting more shippers.

During the initial testing phase, RailPulse members like Union Pacific will analyze the data to help make improvements to the platform before its larger launch in early 2023. Once launched, GPS and telematics data will be available on a dashboard and through Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), making it easy for customers to view the data they care about most.

The effort is part of an industry focus to improve visibility down to the track level while generating efficiencies to improve rail competitiveness versus truck.

“RailPulse will allow us to provide enhanced visibility to our customers, in much the same way a consumer receives today with their online purchases,” said Yolanda Delgado, manager-Business Planning, Marketing and Sales. “The real benefit to our customers comes in productivity gains, faster decision making, enhanced shipment protection, cost savings and improved customer service.”

After the initial pilot is complete, Union Pacific will look to expand the RailPulse program on its rail car fleet.

RailPulse was formed in 2020 as a coalition of rail car owners to increase safety, efficiency and visibility in the rail industry with new technologies.

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