Blog
/ Wialon helping to restore railway management in Iraq

Wialon helping to restore railway management in Iraq

6 September, 2019
Olga Voytikhovich

In today’s article, we are going to explore the case of using Wialon and telematics for railway transportation control. It is a significant matter for any country let alone the one trying to overcome the war consequences.

Some background info

In Iraq, in 2003, the railway service stopped functioning due to the damage it got in the result of military activities. After 2007, when the security situation improved, some railway lines were back in service again (both passenger and goods) including the Baghdad-Basra line.

As Basra is the second-largest city and the largest port in the country from where the raw oil is exported to other countries, it is super important to have a stable railway connection between Basra and the Iraqi capital. The distance between these two cities is 545 km or 339 miles.

Problem

After the railways were open again for passengers and goods transportation, a number of serious problems appeared:

  • As a rule, the train monitoring systems were damaged beyond their reusing or were too expensive to be operated again;
  • Multiple train accidents were taking place in the points of changing train lines because there was no special barrier (or just a part of it was left) securing the road during the train passing. Under the investigation of those accidents, it was important to have an opportunity to retrieve the train’s speed at the moment of the accident and see if the driver was aware of the speed.

  • Another security issue was related to some affected zones (damaged bridges, for example) where maximum speed shouldn’t exceed 10 km/h, and the train driver should constantly know how fast the train is moving.
  • One more problem (that’s not hard to guess) was fuel thefts as they are easy to cover under the pretext of the train engine’s high fuel consumption. 
  • Last but not least was the issue of inaccurate timing – trains were often late.

All these issues, of course, were not just damaging the train fleet, the railway network, and the people, but the business and civil scenery in the region.

Solution

The Iraqi Republic Railways addressed all the above-mentioned concerns to Integrated Solutions (IS). The Gurtam partner offered a complex solution to meet the entire set of requirements. Let’s dive into the details. 

The hardware and the difficulties the installers encountered

Right off the bat, everything looked quite easy: install GPS trackers and fuel level sensors in each train, and the job is done! The IS experts chose Galileosky Base Block and Escort Bluetooth fuel level sensor for this. But then things got rough:

  • The GPS signal was very poor when the tracker was close to the engine, even the device’s being next to the window didn’t help. The radio waves noise from the engine was the reason. So, the technicians had to do some inside wiring to locate the device not really far from the engine and not too close to it and get a good GPS signal at the same time.
  • Another issue, this time with the fuel level sensor, came up. The Bluetooth signal was good when the engine was off but kept disconnecting after the engine was on. All because of the same radio waves noise. The solution was obvious: the reduction of the distance between the FLS and the GPS device.

But how to install the FLS when the fuel tank is fully covered by either the thick train body or the giant engine, and there is no free space for the sensor? Read on to discover how Integrated Solutions solved this challenge.

The train’s fuel tank

Magic spot

After trying numerous ways to install the device (unsuccessfully), the technicians found the spot at the bottom of the train’s fuel tank that was not very thick and could be opened to clean the tank. 

So, they decided to weld on a pipe for the FLS to this spot (vertically, with a diameter larger than that of the sensor, and higher than the tank). A tap on the pipe was used to control the fuel flow inside. 

And the finishing touch – to seal both the tap and the sensor. Now, they were ready to go with the software.

So, after all the hardships met, the equipment was installed, and Wialon started receiving and processing its data. As a result, fuel fillings, thefts, and the total fuel amount consumed during the trip are now automatically sent to the administration by email.

Notifications for handling the inaccurate timing issue

The Wialon notification module was used for timing control. The alert is triggered every time when: 

  • the train departure/arrival is late;
  • the train stops at the station it is not supposed to stop at, or when it stops out in the open and not at the station.

The system also displays a notification when the train arrives at a particular station.

Customized development for the client

The IS team created a customized interface for the IRR (Iraqi Republic Railways) administration with the help of Wialon SDK. It was intended to visualize the data received from each train. The idea was to monitor online the trains’ arrivals and departures from/to the stations using the timeline chart. The X-axis in the chart displays the time from 12:00 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. while the Y-axis features the stations’ names of the selected train route.

The application draws a colored line on the chart showing the movement of each train and its arrival time at a certain station. The chart can be exported as a pdf or png file. The solution works in two modes: the first (default) mode draws the chart continuously for the current day and in real-time; the other mode allows the user to draw the chart manually for a particular day.

NimBus

A short while ago, we published the NimBus use case for public transport in Ukraine

Here, the partner used this app as well. The solution was applied to organize and schedule train rides between stations. The app also helps the client to analyze data through reports and as a result optimize the work. Dispatchers can know now when the train is late or early as NimBus gives the opportunity to monitor the units' hurry and delay.

Results

This is a massive project, and its implementation impacted the number of problems we stated at the beginning of the article. In particular, the complex solution for the Iraqi Republic Railways allows:

  • controlling fuel consumption and preventing fuel thefts;
  • solving the inaccurate timing issue – now the trains arrive and depart on time;
  • speed control in different zones – helps to raise the security level for passengers and prevent accidents;
  • the speed recording and providing this data to relevant authorities in case of an accident.
  • as the solution has successfully prevented fuel thefts, the Iraqi Railways can invest the saved finances in the industry recovery and development;
  • as trains now always stick to their schedules and traveling by train is safe as a rule, it is not only appealing to the passengers but is also an important aspect of the country’s business development.


If you took part in TelematiX, you probably saw Integrated Solutions during the Wialon TOP 50 Global award ceremony. Their position in the rating this year was #11! This particular project is a fine example of their hard work.

If you have a project and you feel like it is interesting and useful for the community, send the details to us right away at marketing@gurtam.com

Was this helpful?