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Car Readers

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Car Readers
Posted by Northtowne on Wednesday, December 1, 2021 11:48 AM

Just learned yesterday as I watched a unit train of grain hoppers being unloaded that a reader at the scale sent car # and total wt to a computer, and scale at exit read and sent tare wt and net to same computer. I was amazed (I am not a foamer as such, just come from a railroad family, all were/are operatering division) or I would would have been up on that, and more. Question, are all cars set up to be read this way? 

 

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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, December 1, 2021 12:02 PM

Northtowne
Just learned yesterday as I watched a unit train of grain hoppers being unloaded that a reader at the scale sent car # and total wt to a computer, and scale at exit read and sent tare wt and net to same computer. I was amazed (I am not a foamer as such, just come from a railroad family, all were/are operatering division) or I would would have been up on that, and more. Question, are all cars set up to be read this way? 

All cars have been equipped with RFID tags for about the past 15 years or more.  Carriers have installed readers at strategic points around their property so they can make use of the car number - one of those uses is in concert with their Weigh in Motion Scales - Car Initial and number get linked through the carrier's computer system to access UMLER (Universal Machine Language Equipment Register) which contains all pertinent facts about the car, such as length, height, width, tare weight and any other FACT about the car that may need to be known.

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Posted by cv_acr on Wednesday, December 1, 2021 12:21 PM

BaltACD

All cars have been equipped with RFID tags for about the past 15 years or more.  

Longer than that even. It's been mandatory installation on cars since the mid 1990s.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automatic_equipment_identification

If you look closely at ANY modern rail car, near the bottom of the car side near the right truck (when looking side on from either side) you'll see a small grey piece of plastic about 3x8" or so which contains the RFID tag bolted to the car.

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Posted by jeffhergert on Wednesday, December 1, 2021 1:23 PM

It will even tell which way the car is orientated in a train.  A or B end leading.  That is, if the tags weren't inadvertently applied to the wrong sides.

Jeff 

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Posted by rdamon on Wednesday, December 1, 2021 4:15 PM

A NS Employee caused quite a fuss in Atlanta when they drove through the former GA400 toll booth with a couple of boxes of tags.

Shut the whole toll system down.

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Posted by tree68 on Wednesday, December 1, 2021 4:40 PM

There have been cases in the past where folks not associated with the railroad have put up rogue readers, apparently planning to sell the information.  Since they have to be close to the tracks, they have been easily noticed by the railroads, which have taken action.

The technology is far more reliable that the ACI labels that the railroads tried to use for essentially the same purpose.

Not much different from your toll road transponder stuck to your windshield.

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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, December 1, 2021 6:35 PM

tree68
...

The technology is far more reliable that the ACI labels that the railroads tried to use for essentially the same purpose.

Not much different from your toll road transponder stuck to your windshield.

Except the railroad RFID tags are properly readable by all railroad readers coast to coast and border to border - UNLIKE toll road transponders that are not compatible amongst some major systems.

I only got the Maryland EZ Pass because getting it was 'Free'; I just had to set up an account with a 'deposit' for my tolls to work aginst whenever I went through a toll facility.  I my normal day to day travels I don't go anywhere near any toll facilities.  Made a trip to the greater metropolitan New York area, made a wrong turn coming home and ended up being charged well over my 'deposit' for the tolls incured (deposit was recharged automaticlly) - NY, NJ, DE & MD tolls for I-95.  When I go to Kansas the EZ-Pass system is not compatible with the Kansas K-Tag system.

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Posted by CShaveRR on Wednesday, December 1, 2021 7:51 PM

We've had no problems at all with our I-Pass transponder (for the Illinois Tollway) being compatiblle anywhere we've gone...across Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York, plus a few places in other states like Texas and Oklahoma.  As Balt says, it renews automaically (after $40 in our case), and tolls in Illinois are 50 percent lower with I-Pass than without.  It's more than paid for the $10.00 (net) original cost, and most of the new expressways in our area (around O'Hare, primarily) will be toll roads.

Carl

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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, December 1, 2021 9:00 PM

CShaveRR
We've had no problems at all with our I-Pass transponder (for the Illinois Tollway) being compatiblle anywhere we've gone...across Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York, plus a few places in other states like Texas and Oklahoma.  As Balt says, it renews automaically (after $40 in our case), and tolls in Illinois are 50 percent lower with I-Pass than without.  It's more than paid for the $10.00 (net) original cost, and most of the new expressways in our area (around O'Hare, primarily) will be toll roads.

Which in the 21st Century - all 'state' transponders SHOULD work in EVERY other state.  Especially since many, if not most, states are eliminating manned toll booths.

 

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Posted by tree68 on Wednesday, December 1, 2021 9:50 PM

BaltACD
Except the railroad RFID tags are properly readable by all railroad readers coast to coast and border to border - UNLIKE toll road transponders that are not compatible amongst some major systems.

No disagreement there at all!

I don't often use mine, but it does come in handy.  NY has pulled all its toll plazas, and Massachusetts did several  years ago.

Aside from incompatibility, the rates and discounts vary as well.  Some states recognize the transponder, but charge full rates for non-system users.

Mine is set at $25.  My usual trip to OH and MI might require one refill.

I suspect that one day they'll all work everywhere.  Unlike the railroads, which needed a national (nay, international) ability to track from day one. most states only concerned themselves with themselves.

LarryWhistling
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Posted by SD70Dude on Thursday, December 2, 2021 12:21 AM

jeffhergert

It will even tell which way the car is orientated in a train.  A or B end leading.  That is, if the tags weren't inadvertently applied to the wrong sides.

Jeff 

We had a coal car that ran around like that for years, the lists would always say that it was facing the wrong way to be dumped.  Eventually I memorized the number and learned to ignore it.  

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Thursday, December 2, 2021 10:03 AM

As Carl stated above, the I-Pass is accepted by the various toll roads and toll bridges that use EZ-Pass.  At least on the Indiana Toll Road, various signs indicate that the I-Pass is also accepted.  That agreement probably went smoothly due to the proximity of the Illinois Tollway to the EZ-Pass operations.  Other agreements may take more time since toll road authorities rather than the state governments are involved.

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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, December 2, 2021 10:10 AM

CSSHEGEWISCH
As Carl stated above, the I-Pass is accepted by the various toll roads and toll bridges that use EZ-Pass.  At least on the Indiana Toll Road, various signs indicate that the I-Pass is also accepted.  That agreement probably went smoothly due to the proximity of the Illinois Tollway to the EZ-Pass operations.  Other agreements may take more time since toll road authorities rather than the state governments are involved.

EZ Pass works in 17 states.  It is not compatible with Florida, Texas and a number of other states.

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Posted by rdamon on Thursday, December 2, 2021 2:40 PM

Florida started accepting EZ Pass in May

https://www.sunpass.com/en/about/pro.shtml

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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, December 2, 2021 2:56 PM

rdamon
Florida started accepting EZ Pass in May

https://www.sunpass.com/en/about/pro.shtml

Will help when I go down to Homestead to race in January.

Wonder if they will still have the Toll Plaza's from Jupiter to just North of Miami?

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Posted by rdamon on Thursday, December 2, 2021 3:21 PM

It has been a few years, but I remember them.  The pass lanes were at highway speed. That way it was a slow bleed of only a few dollars at a time!!

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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, December 2, 2021 3:37 PM

rdamon
It has been a few years, but I remember them.  The pass lanes were at highway speed. That way it was a slow bleed of only a few dollars at a time!!

Getting on at Jupiter you got a toll card that you had to pay at a plaza about 30 miles or so later.  Then about every 10 miles thereafter were toll plazas, the if you weren't Sun Pass you had to pay a flat axle toll.  When you got South of Miami it was done with 'toll by tag' technology on down to Homestead where the Florida Turnpike ends.

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Posted by rdamon on Thursday, December 2, 2021 4:39 PM

Cards are long gone ..  think it is pay by plate or SunPass only at most exits.  There may be a few manned booths on the main Turnpike.

 

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Posted by CShaveRR on Thursday, December 2, 2021 4:46 PM

Illinois got rid of manned toll-booths with the onset of COVID-19 last year.  There are still some places where speeds are reduced at entrances and exits, but anything on the "main lines" is highway speed.  Stay in your lane; if you're straddling lanes at the sites you could get two tolls taken.  

The latest tollway, Illinois 390, is set up for nothing but express tolling on the main lines.  This one is still under construction at the east end, where it will at leat connect with Illinois (or Interstate) 490, which will cut around the back (west) side of O'Hare.  The 390 may eventually provide an entrance to O'Hare from the north and west suburbs.  I think they've finally resolved the land battles with CP and/or UP.

Carl

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CAACSCOCOM--I don't want to behave improperly, so I just won't behave at all. (SM)

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Posted by CShaveRR on Thursday, December 2, 2021 4:50 PM

Back to AEI readers, there were rare occasions when the tags were not changed out after a car had been relettered and renumbered.  I don't know if frright-car-freak Carl improved things by assuring others that this was the right car, or caused more problems by delaying its repair down the road.

Until the day I retired, I used to use the old ACI readers to determine the original numbers of unrepainted cars, when possible.  It was a trick to read them at a bit more than humping speed...

Carl

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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, December 2, 2021 5:37 PM

rdamon
Cards are long gone ..  think it is pay by plate or SunPass only at most exits.  There may be a few manned booths on the main Turnpike.

I didn't make the Homestead trip this January as my trailer broke about 3 miles from where I store it while I am in Florida.

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Thursday, December 2, 2021 10:38 PM

BaltACD

 I didn't make the Homestead trip this January as my trailer broke about 3 miles from where I store it while I am in Florida.

 

 
Ouch  that is embarassing. Only 3 miles? AXEL or wheel?   Where did you have it towed?  Had my 2 axel trailer break all the lug nuts on an aluminum rim near Gainesville.  How did I know? Wheel passed me on the left.  Had to chase the wheel  running down the interstate  I-75 north coming out of the rest area.
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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, December 2, 2021 11:12 PM

blue streak 1
 
BaltACD

 I didn't make the Homestead trip this January as my trailer broke about 3 miles from where I store it while I am in Florida. 

Ouch  that is embarassing. Only 3 miles? AXEL or wheel?   Where did you have it towed?  Had my 2 axel trailer break all the lug nuts on an aluminum rim near Gainesville.  How did I know? Wheel passed me on the left.  Had to chase the wheel  running down the interstate  I-75 north coming out of the rest area.

Trailer is 2x4 center beam with 0.25 inch walls with a Z from the bottom up to the hitch.  I went over a small 'YUMP' over a small bridge and it broke when it had the stress of coming down and broke at the bottom of the frame - pulled into a residential street about 30 yards from the bridge - repair facility sent a roll back truck to pick it up and take it to their facility.  Three days and $800 later it was fixed and ready to head down to Sebring.

I have had this break in the past, one time in Frostburg, MD coming back from Road America and one time somewhere in New Jersey returning from New Jersey Motorsports Park.  Each time I have had that part - beefed up, gusseted, plated etc.  I went back through my records, and I figure I have put apporximately 180K miles on the trailer since I have owned it and I am not the original ower.  When I got it, it had a soild axle - no suspension other than air pressure in the tires.  After several years I had a trailer shop put a torsion axle on it.  Trailer was 'home made' by its original owner.  I have added storage capacity to it over the years.  It has been following me around since 1995.

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Posted by ccltrains on Sunday, December 5, 2021 8:06 AM

I remember the ACI colored bars to be read by scanners.  I have heard that the problem was when dirt, mud, or graffiti got on them they could not be read.  Saw several cars with the ACI bars wiped clean so they could be read.

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Posted by BaltACD on Sunday, December 5, 2021 8:41 AM

ccltrains
I remember the ACI colored bars to be read by scanners.  I have heard that the problem was when dirt, mud, or graffiti got on them they could not be read.  Saw several cars with the ACI bars wiped clean so they could be read.

Cars used in and around steel mills frequently had their ACI lables burned off - either by having ingots and other hot steel loaded in them or being close to the extreme heat that the steel making process generates in many locations around steel facilities.

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, December 5, 2021 8:41 AM

I had a double-axle 7x20 trailer made in Louisiana, with electric brakes and the 'usual' equalizing suspension.  My usual practice was to walk around and check tire pressure at fuel stops.  One night in Dallas I pulled out of heavy traffic, walked around, and discovered to my horrified amusement that I had been happily driving on the right rear tire beads for some unknown length of time. The only evidence of tire was a couple of well-polished 2" rings of sidewall, neatly supporting the rim flanges against road contact.. ran smoothly, tracked perfectly, proof the equalizing design does its job!  

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Posted by tree68 on Sunday, December 5, 2021 10:48 AM

ccltrains
I remember the ACI colored bars to be read by scanners.  I have heard that the problem was when dirt, mud, or graffiti got on them they could not be read.  Saw several cars with the ACI bars wiped clean so they could be read.

I would submit that ACI was a great concept, given the technology of the day.  

Clearly there were issues, like dirty labels, etc.  But it was a start.  

Radio tags were mostly a dream at that point.  Even bar codes hadn't made it to the retail level yet.

I've seen it suggested that eventually everything in stores will be RFID tagged, along with your store loyalty card.  You'll be able to load up your cart, push it through the scanner, and have everything tallied, while the total is charged to the payment method you have linked to your loyalty card...

LarryWhistling
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Everyone goes home; Safety begins with you
My Opinion. Standard Disclaimers Apply. No Expiration Date
Come ride the rails with me!
There's one thing about humility - the moment you think you've got it, you've lost it...

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