Wi-Tronix – Violet Wows Rail Industry at Annual Wi-Tronix Conference

Violet, the highly anticipated new solution from Wi-Tronix, debuted at the annual Wi-Tronix Conference in Chicago on May 17. The product was enthusiastically received by rail industry leaders in attendance.


Violet is a multi-purpose, high performance solution that integrates the functionality of several devices into a single, sustainable solution. These devices include the locomotive data acquisition recording system (LDARS), event recorder (ER), digital video recorder (DVR), crash hardened memory module, and business critical data acquisition system – all in a single box.


The Violet solution seamlessly integrates into a locomotive’s current systems. The multipurpose device allows for less inventory and greater reliability because of fewer onboard devices, fewer potential points of failure, and less troubleshooting.


While other products in the market might provide multiple systems in a single box, that is where the similarities between those products and Violet end.


Violet offers an industry first: streaming locomotive event recorder data and video populating in real time on a secure website through a cloud-based information hosting solution.


The conference demonstrated the live streaming data features of Violet during presentations, interactive demonstration booths, and breakout sessions. Conference guests watched the data of a moving locomotive populate on the screen in real time. Industry executives, media, and thought-leaders had never witnessed locomotive data in streaming format, so question and answer sessions were lively.


New government regulations require railroads to install positive train control (PTC) by 2018. LDARS is a major component of the PTC system. The Violet solution is designed to be scalable, configurable, and to get “smarter” through remotely updatable feature enhancements.


“We hesitate to call Violet an LDARS,” said Larry Jordan, Wi-Tronix President and Chief Technology Officer. “Violet is so much more than that. Just like it’s an understatement to simply call your smartphone a telephone, it is a significant understatement to call Violet an LDARS. Violet is a smart solution.”


The “smart” aspect of Violet comes from data fusion and advanced data analytics. Data coming from the locomotive systems is fused with railroad business data to create actionable information and alerts. Advanced video analytics enable roll by inspections, bearing detection, and track inspections via video. These analytics also monitor cab security.


Data fusion allows railroads to access their PTC data and to create previously untapped business value from their PTC investment. Wi-Tronix is has already implemented the concept of extracting and fusing data on over 10,000 locomotives worldwide.


Interestingly, the company incorporated purple into the Violet hardware as a nod to both the color of a violet and to the company’s signature purple products.


Violet has five main features:


  1. Violet Onboard Platform.
  2. Violet Live™: Web-based, real-time time event recorder, imagery, and map.
  3. Violet View™: Web-based historical event recorder, imagery, and map.
  4. Violet VI™: Visual Intelligence. Transforms raw video content into usable data.
  5. Violet VR™: Virtual Reality. Live Capability. Full 360 degree view.


Other system features include:


  • Digital Video Recorder — up to 7 High Definition IP Cameras.
  • Event Recorder – capable of recording signals from a variety of sources including: Locomotive Interface Gateway, Positive Train Control, Legacy Event Recorder, Data Acquisition.
  • PTC Event Recorder.
  • Business Critical Data Acquisition.
  • Wi-Na Internal Navigation System – numerous features including: Automatic collision detection, Improved fuel level measurement accuracy, Track quality monitoring.
  • Crash-Hardened Memory Module – with typical integration: Event Recorder = 7 days, Video/ Audio = 4 hours.