MHF Logistical Solutions, Inc. (MHF-LS)is working with GE Rail to test remote monitoring and diagnostics systems for use in rail shipping.

The wireless devices incorporate global positioning system technology (GPS) to transmit real-time geographical position and sensor data via satellites, with processed data incorporated into MHF-LS tracking systems. If a problem is detected, diagnostic data and alerts are immediately sent to the customer. The system can identify cars with cargo that may have been tampered with, or cars that haven't moved, may be off-course, or are entering areas of concern.

The pilot test program is expected to run until this spring.

"GE has been working on remote monitoring and diagnostic systems for more than a decade," added Glenn Shaffer, GE Rail engineering development manager: "Working with MHF-LS, we have now moved into the next stage of testing technology for individual railcars. Creating a virtual custodian for rail cars will enhance the service railroads can provide to shippers - we're helping our customers' customers."