Commissioners meet with Trainfo


By Nathan Hoskins - [email protected]



EATON — The Preble County Board of Commissioners and Sheriff Mike Simpson met virtually with representatives of Trainfo Monday, Sept. 19, to discuss the implementation of their services in Preble County.

“We’re Trainfo. We focus entirely on rail-road crossings. Our platform is enabled by sensor technology. We have our own system, but we also work with other companies’ technology as well, depending on the scenario we are looking at. Essentially, we have the capability to detect trains without working with the rail-road,” stated the Trainfo representative.

Trainfo representatives explained Trainfo specializes in collecting data from rail-crossings in real time, which is then transferred to the Trainfo cloud storage system, and relayed to client systems in real time to help prevent delays and accidents caused by trains.

The potential applications for this service chiefly benefit first responders, who by monitoring Trainfo servers are provided a significant warning when trains are delayed, or in the case of potential collisions, can prevent accidents.

The representatives added, current studies being conducted between Trainfo and the U.S. Department of Transportation in Charlston County and Houston Texas have found that with the use of Trainfo technology and services, the collision rate of rail-road crossings has been reduced by 90 percent in those areas.

According to a map presented to the commissioners, Trainfo recommended six crossings in Preble County where they would install their equipment. The equipment in question is a box which would be placed within 30 feet of the rail-road, but off rail-road property. The box and all components inside are property of the county once purchased. Within the box is a power source, sensor and other components required for an AI system which runs an adaptive algorithm, which constantly learns and retains information about its placement region. The system can take up to five weeks to fully learn the tendencies of trains at its designated crossing, according to Trainfo officials.

The system can predict delay times based on past delays, predict collisions, as well as predict when the train will arrive at the next crossing. The data created by the system is transferred via cellular. Trainfo representatives confirmed they can work with various providers.

Simpson questioned the representatives about component failure, and who would be obligated to replace failing parts. According to Trainfo, once the one-year warranty has ended, it becomes the responsibility of the county to purchase replacements from them. The typical lifespan of the components is five years, but it is recommended to only replace the major or failing parts.

Trainfo teams continue to monitor each crossing once installed. The representatives also added they have trained local agencies to troubleshoot, monitor and repair equipment in the past. The installation and powering of the equipment is at the discretion of the county.

Trainfo’s services would cost the county an estimated $15,000 a year for a license to operate each of the recommended crossings, with each box costing an additional $6,000 a piece.

Commissioners have currently made no decision, but plan to accompany Sheriff Simpson to investigate a Trainfo operating system in New Haven, Indiana when it is installed in the coming weeks.

Trainfo is a Canadian company of relatively young age, but is quickly spreading across the United States. For more information about the company, their systems, and current service areas, visit www.trainfo.ca.

By Nathan Hoskins

[email protected]

Reach Nathan Hoskins at 937-683-4057 and follow on Twitter @NathanHoskins13.

Reach Nathan Hoskins at 937-683-4057 and follow on Twitter @NathanHoskins13.