Russian Railways is using the latest information technology to ensure its systems provide the best service for its freight customers, including monitoring trains and registering cargo automatically.
The DISPARK System is a comprehensive program which allows a highly accurate estimation of fleet operations. A completely automated tracking and cargo traffic quality-control system, DISPARK monitors the state of carriages used on trains and trains that inadvertently veer off-course. DISPARK includes detailed information about each car and the 100+ operations that it can carry out. The system operates in real time and covers the whole Russian railway network, which is divided into 849 sections with 4,000 technical and cargo stations, 20,000 house tracks and 174 car repair shops.
In December 2001, a second priority for the automated container traffic control system (DISCON) was devised and put into operation on the Russian railways. This unique system uses a database holding information about each container by its number. The main aim of the system is to improve container traffic efficiency and maintain control over the paths the trains take, monitoring their state of repair and how accurately the cars comply with each operation.
A third system currently being put into operation organises cargo traffic on the Russian railways using an electronic transport ‘invoice’ called ETRAN.
These railway information systems will work together with the information systems used in other modes of transport, including dock-side stations and ports. These multipurpose technologies are based on powerful and highly reliable digital communication channels that control all 17 regional divisions of Russian Railways. The linkup between these technologies will allow the commercial and performance procedures of cargo traffic to take place through electronic data exchange.
The "Palma" (Palm) System allows the automated reading of vehicle registration numbers, whether locomotives, cargo and passenger cars or high-capacity containers, and their registration when passing across checkpoints. Automated identification using "PALMA" completely dispenses with the need to record the registration numbers manually and ensures the efficient and reliable exchange of vehicle information. In the near future, "PALMA" will be used in all automated control systems connected with traffic processes.
In summer 2004, the scientific and technical council of Russian Railways approved the introduction of the SIRIUS system into the Russian railway structure. This network-integrated Russian information-management system operates in real time and analyses, forecasts and decides traffic organisation, car and locomotive fleet management, and the loading and unloading of cargo. SIRIUS calculates technical details on the basis of a previously devised ‘master plan’ and regulates the operation of each traffic application, including import and transit across Russia.