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AR for Multimodal Transportation

This CareAR customer is one of the largest multimodal transportation companies in North America. Its railway system is among the top transporters of intermodal freight in North America. It also hauls bulk cargo, including enough coal to generate about 25% of the all the electricity produced in the United States.


The confluence of increasing downtime costs and further reduction of locomotive electrician and mechanical talent, have put intense pressure on locomotive commissioning processes and knowledge capture.

These issues coupled with global supply chain and market conditions have increased operating costs and impacted profitability. The impact of locomotives not pulling freight has left farmers, ranchers and manufactures unable to get products to market. The economic impact is so severe that the Service Transportation Board has increased its inspections of maintenance operations across all modal sectors and is requiring railroads to change their practices.

Recent studies of intermodal transportation systems in the United States have shown that downtime costs range from $1,050 per hour, to over $2,400 per hour (Levitt et al, 2021). This situation has been exacerbated by the acute and continuing shortages of journeyman and master technicians whose hands-on expertise is often required to resolve complex electro-mechanical problems and improve mean time to repair (MTTR).

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In early 2022, the company conducted a pilot deployment of CareAR® Assist among its maintenance sites to resolve 20 common incidents. The results achieved are impressive:


MTTR Improvement


Problem Resolution Rate


Apprentice Know-How Movement



This innovative intermodal transportation company knew their MTTR was impacting their ability to put locomotives back into service quickly. They also recognized that enabling apprentice and journeyman level technicians to access SME expertise was key to sustained performance improvement. Using CareAR they were able to leverage expert know-how from virtually anywhere to enable their technicians to trouble-shoot and resolve issues that are unique to locomotives in their fleet and improve MTTR.

Transport Metrics with CareAR


100% Diagnosed and Resolved with CareAR


40% Diagnosed and Resolved without CareAR

Benefits at a Glance

  • Avg. Minutes Apprentice with CareAR – 42 minutes 42% 42%
  • Avg. Minutes Apprentice without CareAR – 151 minutes 151% 151%

Resolution Time

  • Overall MTTR improved 52% on average with a SME using CareAR to facilitate diagnosis and resolution 
  • Apprentice level electricians confirmed they were able to resolve issue well beyond their experience level

Diagnostic Capability

Scenarios were evaluated against both the ability to diagnose the fault and resolve the fault with and without the use of

  • 100% of scenarios with the use of CareAR were diagnosed and resolved
  • 40% of scenarios without the use of CareAR were diagnosed and resolved
  • 60% of scenarios without the use of CareAR went undiagnosed and unresolved

Remote SME and Apprentice/Trainee

Apprentice capability to diagnose and resolve faults was on average 72% improved with a SME using CareAR to remotely to facilitate resolution 

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