Lasers, microprocessors and ultrasounds — these high tech innovations don’t often come to mind when someone mentions railroads. However, modern railroads are employing these cutting edge technologies to make America’s freight rail network safer than ever before.
Today, flaws within tracks can be nearly impossible to detect with the human eye. Instead, high-tech inspection cars utilize laser and ultrasound technology to detect track wear and tear before an accident occurs. At the same time, wayside detectors positioned all across the country monitor the axles, suspensions and bearings of freight car and locomotive wheels to ensure that they are operating safely and efficiently to support freight trains weighing an average of 3,500-tons each.
Thanks to innovations like these, the train accident rate has dropped to historic lows. Explore in the infographic below how railroads are employing even more cutting edge technology to improve rail safety in the slideshow below.