Lenz Labs has created technology that allows trains to grip the track better, providing predictable traction control to help trains run on time no matter the weather.
Poor traction during sub-optimal operating conditions is a problem that plagues the railway industry. This could be due to a steep incline, weather, or other factors that cause the wheels to slip on the rails that they traverse. Meaning the locomotive may struggle to move from a stand-still and can encounter dangerous braking scenarios when braking from high-speed, under which the train could derail. The operator cannot control or track the positional behaviour of the locomotive as accurately as other modes of transport, causing further complications for signalling that reduces speed limits.
Lenz created the Traction Hub which uses electromagnets to increase the effective adhesion between the wheels and the tracks. This solution not only provides a hardware fix, but is part of a larger solution including various sensors that collect data on the conditions of the track and aggregate that data with external sources to identify where the most problematic areas are on the railway lines. By providing an analytics service to alert an operator of these problematic areas, we can enable network managers to make better informed decisions to remedy the on-track problems for operators across the network.