Train wagon identification at Finnish Railways

RFID system increases the efficiency of Finnish Railways’ rail-yard processes.


  • Railroad


High resource comsuming manual processes in wagon identification and work order assignments


Quick and automated train composition identification

Streamlined process of work order management e.g. in wagon inspection and defect repair

Finnish Railways, VR Group, is the single rail transport and logistics provider in Finland. VR Group, together with its subsidiary VR Transpoint, logistics services provider, have implemented RFID system for improving the earlier manual processes, lack of inventory visibility and for creating opportunities for new business applications.

The need for passenger and freight wagon and locomotive identification arises in train composition management and in rail-yard process optimization. Due to the earlier manual processes, the train composition management as well as information transfer was resource consuming and slow. This also resulted having no up-to-date visibility over the entire fleet.

In the VR Group’s RFID system, each wagon and locomotive has been tagged with two Confidex Ironside tags. The tags are read with hand held readers by the workers and Vilant’s software is storing and transferring the data into VR system. By being able to identify the wagons fast and reliably with RFID, train composition verification is efficient and the data is immediately transferred into the database that builds the complete picture of wagon locations and utilization. RFID is also used for handing the work orders in the rail-yards and allowing again maintenance and possible defect data to be available immediately for further processing.


Each locomotive, passenger wagons and the wide variety of freight wagons are being tagged with Confidex Ironside™ tags. There’s one tag on each side of the wagon with industrial adhesive. This makes it possible to identify the orientation of the wagons when the tag ID shows whether it is located on the left or right side. Rail RFID applications require high durability, high performing tag tolerating harsh weather conditions and vibration which Confidex Ironside tag tolerates.


VR Group – a modern service company is an ecofriendly, versatile company with responsible operations, offering transport, logistics and infrastructure engineering services. The Group employs over 10,000 professionals. The group serve freight service customers and public transport customers with rail and road transport services. VR Group provides safe, high-quality and environmentally benign transport and logistics services. Read more at: http://www.vr-konserni.fi/en/index.html

Picture: VR