Vossloh expands its monitoring portfolio and further strengthens its digital expertise

  • Acquisition of extensive technology for camera-based train and wagon identification as well as for the collection of important condition data, for example of wheels and brakes
  • Integration of RailWatch GmbH's workforce, in particular the entire development team, into the Vossloh Group

The Vossloh AG ("Vossloh") has taken over the extensive monitoring technology from Bonn-based RailWatch GmbH ("RailWatch") effective September 1, 2023. In addition, all employees will be integrated into the Vossloh Group, which will thus significantly expand its competencies in the areas of sensor technology, computer vision, and cloud computing.

The technology developed by RailWatch uses optical and acoustic sensors to identify the technical condition of freight and passenger cars, multiple units, and locomotives as they pass by. The measuring stations are equipped with high-resolution cameras and self-developed LED technology for optimal and glare-free illumination. The data they record includes information on wheel damage, brake blocks, and train and car numbers. A supplementary measuring system, which is installed in the track, enables the collection of further data, including various parameters of the wheel profile, weight information and the distribution of axle loads. The collected information from the overall system is processed in the cloud using artificial intelligence. After extensive quality assurance, the data is made available to customers in processed form via a web portal. With a 98 percent detection accuracy, RailWatch's monitoring system is one of the best AI image processing technologies in the railroad sector.

The measuring stations are located at the most important rail freight corridors in Germany as well as at industrial and port entrances. In addition to network operators, industrial companies and ports, rail transport companies and freight car owners in particular benefit from the information generated. Wear and damage are detected at an early stage, and maintenance measures can be planned and implemented with pinpoint accuracy.

"At Vossloh, we are intensively involved in the sensory recording of the condition of the track. Based on the knowledge gained, we already offer our customers tailored maintenance solutions and are continuously developing our products further. The recording of specific rail vehicle condition data is the logical next step in further expanding our systemic understanding of the track. The condition of the track over time is very significantly influenced also by the so-called wheel-rail contact. The RailWatch technology will provide us with crucial insights in this regard," says Oliver Schuster, CEO of Vossloh AG, adding: "I would like to extend a very warm welcome to the new employees at Vossloh. Together with them, we will continue to develop the existing technology and thus create considerable additional benefits for our customers. The topic of condition-based and predictive maintenance is of crucial importance when it comes to creating the prerequisites for an increased shift of traffic to rail and thus for more sustainable mobility."

In addition to further developing the newly integrated monitoring systems, the former RailWatch team will also work on other digital group projects across all business units.

Vossloh is a global technology group which for around 140 years has stood for quality, safety, customer focus, reliability, and innovative strength. With its comprehensive range of rail-related products and services, Vossloh ranks among the world market leaders in this sector. Vossloh offers a uniquely broad range of products and services under one roof: Rail fastening systems, concrete sleepers, switch systems and crossings, as well as innovative and increasingly digital-based services for the entire life cycle of rails and switches. Vossloh uses its systemic understanding of the track to address the central customer need of "availability of the rail track".
Vossloh products and services are in use in more than 100 countries. With some 75 group companies in almost 30 countries and over 40 production locations, Vossloh is active locally worldwide. Vossloh is committed to sustainable corporate governance and climate protection and with its products and services makes an important contribution to the sustainable mobility of people and goods.
The Group's activities are organized into the three divisions Core Components, Customized Modules, and Lifecycle Solutions. In the 2022 fiscal year, Vossloh generated sales revenues of €1,046.1 million with around 3,800 employees.