How Digital Can Solve Rail’s Biggest Challenges

The railroad industry is nearly 200 years old.


I’ve spent my entire career in Rail. I worked my way up from technician to a leadership position, but the reason behind my love for the industry has remained the same: Rail is a connector. Of goods, of families, of lives.


That said, I’ve watched the rail industry continue to wrestle with the same challenges over the last 20 years. Until now. With the mass application of digital technology, I am excited to see how the industry—and the people within this community—advance leaps and bounds.


In particular, I think new technology will help solve three pressing industry problems.


  1. Excess Idle: By giving train crews immediate access to information, we can empower them to make informed decisions that improve the efficiency of their fleet.
  2. Fuel Theft: Technology allows us to look in REAL TIME at the whole supply chain of fuel, from the time it’s delivered to the locomotive to the time it’s consumed.
  3. Remote Connectivity: The addition of live streaming cameras on internal and external components of locomotives will enhance visibility and bring new insights.


While the building blocks of solutions are available, it’s not enough just to have this technology. You have to integrate it, too. This requires partnership, trust, and being open to change.


Technology scares people. Change scares people. Especially in the railroad industry, people on the ground are often hesitant to adapt to change for fear that it will make their jobs and lives harder. But the reality is just the opposite!


Educating those in the rail community is the key to quelling these fears.


Technology scares people. Change scares people.


Highlight exactly how these new technologies can improve the industry and make their jobs easier (and their lives better). Adoption of these new technologies will not always be seamless. But successfully applying them to the three areas above will drive new outcomes and operational excellence, an element of precision railroading.


You can learn more about the evolution of rail, from analog to digital, in my latest video.


Be sure to stay tuned for the release of my next In the Trenches video where I’ll take you through a day in the life of a Customer Success Manager.


Originally posted by Chad Jasmin on LinkedIn – 3/11/2019