Industrial Internet of Things for the Railroad Industry

In our work with CSX, we know the railroad industry relies primarily on periodic inspection and repair activities to identify equipment conditions that require corrective actions, in order to maintain desirable service levels. In spite of the massive efforts to maintain the physical plant and the myriad assets that run on it using the periodic approach, railroad continues to experience costly service disruptions that adversely affect safety, train service, asset life, and asset availability.


  • Reduce unplanned repairs and minimize downtime
  • Use the past to predict the future
  • Save on repairs and lost revenue
  • Increase Fuel Economy
  • Increase the average availability of cars on line

A majority of all maintenance is either too late or diagnosed incorrectly and therefore you end up applying the wrong remedy. SORBA identifies the exact problem, applying the proper corrective action, at the earliest stage, before costly degradation starts and causes downtime.

Unplanned downtime and catastrophic failures continue to cost billions of dollars each year. SORBA changes maintenance from reactive to predictive, lowering cost and increasing efficiency. SORBA’s ruggedized IoT event recorder and edge processor are uniquely designed for transportation. Data is collected from onboard engine sensors, traction motors, sensor panels, cellular detectors, battery monitors and cameras. Data is then stored on board and transferred through PTC, cellular and Wi-Fi to remote storage for predictive maintenance. Custom rules and machine learning agents, process video and sensor data, detecting very early stage events and predictive alert notifications, all in one open platform.

How it Works

SORBA offers a EN50155 compliant (an international standard covering electronic equipment used on rolling stock for railway applications. The standard covers aspects of this electronic equipment, including temperature, humidity, shock, vibration, and other parameters.) hardware platform integrating all types of sensors for locomotives, marine vessels, trucks, automobiles, heavy haul equipment and aircrafts. Customers can setup their own custom maintenance rules to trigger alarms and work order events. SORBA leads the market in railway monitoring, applying advanced predictive analytics using machine learning agents processing sensor data on the edge to provide very early stage equipment failure warnings, reducing network load compared to cloud computing solutions that require constant sensor data streaming, driving up the cost of real time monitoring.

SORBA monitors cellular activity to prevent operator distractions resulting in increased safety and protecting lives. Our cellular monitoring solution detects all types of cellular communications including incoming calls, outgoing calls, text messaging and any internet activity. SORBA detects a cellular event inside the operator cabin and triggers an alarm with the date and time. Cellular activity events are stored and alerts sent via email, SMS messages and local annunciation systems.

In addition to capturing sensor data, SORBA records video data in real-time used for surveillance inside and outside the locomotive. SORBA machine learning agents can be trained from the inward facing cameras to monitor operator performance, detecting fatigue and awareness. Outward facing cameras monitor rail asset images used for real-time inspection to detect obstructions and rail asset defects.

SORBA offers a sensor monitoring package for legacy locomotives that do not have built-in sensors or on-board microprocessor monitoring equipment. SORBA extends the life of these locomotives by providing real-time maintenance data converting them to a connected locomotive. SORBA uses fuel flow meters to record fuel consumption and calculate fuel efficiency. Fuel consumption models can be created using SORBA machine learning agents to predict the highest fuel efficiency lowering fuel costs.

The sensor options available include:

  • Temperature sensors for exhaust cylinders, main bearings, after cooler, oil, water and air box
  • Pressure sensors for air box, after cooler, water, fuel, fuel filter, rear oil, main oil, oil filter, scavenger oil, crankcase, fuel feed, fuel return, turbo
  • Flow sensors for fuel feed and fuel return

SORBA monitors battery health and sends alerts notifying operations before the battery is unable to start the locomotive. In addition to sending battery health, other data provided includes, voltage, current, power, ampere-hours consumed, state of charge detecting battery degradation.

The World’s Leading Technology, Enterprise Platform for IoT

SORBA connects machines, devices, and enterprise to improve efficiency and become more competitive.


Collect data from devices in a secure and reliable way. You can choose from a range of drivers to connect your machines and devices using easy web configuration tools for quick deployment.


Integrates your devices, processes, services and enterprises. Get all the great SORBA capabilities from 3rd party applications using our RESTFul Web Services.


Perform real-time big data analytics and machine learning analysis. Delivered actionable intelligence, providing better visualization making real-time decisions based on your data.



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