RFID in railway

Rail tracking at the Bucharest Subway

Beneficiary: Bucharest Subway
Year of implementation: 2009-2011

In 2009, the Bucharest Subway was searching for a mean to track its railcars and how trains were formed from these railcars. An automatic and rugged system was required, that could also operate at the speeds the trains were moving. An RFID system composed from 2.4 GHz, heavy-duty, readers and tags supplied by TagMaster was chosen.

A tag with a unique ID was attached to each railcar and a reader was placed at each terminal in each subway station along the route. The central was system allowed for the identification of each railcar (and train) from the moment it exited the depo, to its return at the end of the shift.

This allowed the customer to:

  • Uniquely identify each railcar and see how the train was formed;
  • Track and schedule maintenance works on various railcars;
  • Estimate the travel time between stations;
  • Gather statistics on how durable various components and railcars were.

As the Bucharest Subway expanded, more readers and tags were added, totaling about 50 readers and 200 tags.

The system is still in use today, after more than 10 years since its implementation.