By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information.
News and Press

Forbes features CEO Bill Bain’s article: “New Technologies Can Help Boost Rail Safety”

ScaleOut CEO Bill Bain's article for the Forbes Technology Council delves into the pressing issue of rail safety in light of recent major accidents in the nation's freight system. The article underscores the urgency of deploying cost-effective technology to prevent such incidents and protect communities and economies. As Dr. Bain aptly notes, "The key to preventing railway accidents like these is to detect problems and take action before they lead to derailments." In the case of a 50-car derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, the accident was traced back to an overheated wheel bearing suspected of causing a fire and derailment, highlighting the need for more proactive safety measures.

"The key to preventing railway accidents like these is to detect problems and take action before they lead to derailments."

The article introduces a solution that harnesses existing technologies to address this challenge: cloud computing, digital twins, and machine learning. Dr. Bain explains, "By maintaining a digital twin for each rail car, we can easily keep track of a car’s wheel-bearing temperatures and analyze them for changes as the car moves from detector to detector." This innovative approach allows for real-time monitoring and early detection of anomalies, offering a data-driven way to predict impending failures. Moreover, the article highlights the cost-effectiveness of these technologies, emphasizing that "the cost to deploy these technologies is modest, especially in comparison to the cleanup costs after an accident."

In conclusion, the article underscores the potential of these technological advancements to significantly enhance rail safety by preventing accidents before they occur. By combining cloud computing, digital twins, and machine learning, rail companies can proactively monitor their freight cars, making it a worthwhile investment to avoid costly derailments, chemical spills, and legal liabilities. In the words of Dr. Bain, "Given the millions of dollars required to recover from a derailment, the suffering created by a toxic chemical spill, and the legal liability to rail companies, the cost of deploying technology like this should prove to be a worthwhile investment for rail companies."