Transportation Analytics

We find that many railroad customers are not realizing the full value from their transportation software, tools and data.  This can impede growth, impact customer service and increase costs.

NELS possesses a deep understanding of rail industry processes and related data systems.    We have the know-how to jump-start new initiatives, evaluate existing processes, identify improvement opportunities, extract intelligence from raw transactional data, improve transactional work flow and quantify inefficiencies to eliminate unnecessary costs.   

Our approach involves fully understanding your business processes and objectives while employing a team approach to help you evaluate the best methods to ensure efficiency.  We are skilled in inventorying and mining your existing data assets.  We apply our analytic capabilities to provide insights into your current operation -- quantifying areas requiring attention.

We can help you migrate, integrate, enrich and validate your rail data.  We have particular strength in integrating stove-pipe systems applications and helping you implement new systems.  

We apply this approach to:

  • Capacity Analysis and Forecasting
  • Service Reliability -- Identification of Choke Points/Service Vulnerabilities
  • Asset Utilization and Fleet Sizing
  • Safety and Risk Management
  • Cost Allocation and Cost Reduction Opportunities

NELS also provides transportation analytics as an on-demand service through our RAILS software.  NELS has the processing capabilities, models and experience needed to support the most challenging analytical requirements.

Risk Management

NELS has developed processes to manage the risks associated with the transport of hazardous materials by rail, including Crude Oil, LPG and Rail Sensitive Security Materials (RSSM) encompassing commodities classified as Toxic Inhalants (TIH), Explosives and Spent Nuclear materials, explicitly identified in Association of American Railroads Circular OT-55.

NELS has spent the last seven years focused on delivering processes and related information systems to improve the intelligence and vigilance over the transport of hazardous materials.  NELS processes have been adopted and deployed by the U.S. DHS/TSA on a national scale. Richard E Flynn, NELS Principal has 43 years or rail industry experience and is acknowledged as a subject matter expert in this area.

NELS has listened carefully to the evolving dialog following the Lac-Megantic, Quebec CBR incident, just as it did following the 2005 TIH incident in Graniteville, South Carolina.  NELS believes it can be of immediate assistance to rail stakeholders needing to address specific challenges relative to rail safety and security. 

Previous Projects

  • GIS-based regional collaboration tool to facilitate information sharing between regional DOT's and Carriers.
  • STARS - Secure Transmission Automated Response System providing direct data access from smartphones.
  • Risk evaluation model for specific routes and the atributes of routes handling hazardous materials.
  • Regional rail capacity study for the Northern New Jersey Area, identifying bottlenecks and proposed capital projects to address those bottlenecks.
  • Deployment of service diagnostics tools specifically for rail carrier marketing and sales organizations. 
  • Nationwide evaluation of FRA Grade Crossing Data Integrity and approaches to addressing and correcting gaps. 
  • Development of TMS system for regional and short line railroads.
  • Development of Oracle-based risk management system with major systems integrator for a federal agency.
  • Charter of a regional rail advocacy organization to further opportunities for rail freight growth.
  • Development of proprietary geo-reference databases to relate conventional rail asset management systems with Geographic and Sat-Com technologies.