Journal of Transportation Management


In the railroad industry, the ability to assess damages to rail units in an accurate and timely manner is critical to the success and profits of a company. Accurate damage assessment of rail units also plays a key role in dispute resolution and negotiation with key vendors and suppliers (my.uprr.com/pub/dam-prev). This paper describes and presents information about Union Pacific Railroads (UPRR) and Science Applications International Corporations (SAIC) highly successful efforts in fully automating the data collection, inspection, assessment and reporting of damage claims to rail equipment. UPRR and SAIC used an innovative and highly creative approach to develop and implement the Automated Gate System (AGS) by integrating a portfolio of leading edge high resolution imaging and optical character recognition technologies. AGS is a unique and revolutionary system in the transportation industry and has yielded significant strategic and long-term benefits to the company. The reengineering efforts that preceded the development of the system have helped the company to sustain its position as a leader in the railroad industry.