Rail Freight

End-to-end Solutions for a Smarter, Safer and More Cost-effective Rail Industry

The UK Railway industry comprises one of the largest and most varied asset portfolios in Britain. In addition to the role of Network Rail in securing the safety and performance of the Railway platforms, tracks signal boxes, utilities, stations and other assets, there are around 25 private Rail passenger operators in the UK, all with extensive assets that need to be effectively managed. Smarter Technologies Solutions enable all Public Sector organisations and private companies involved in Railway management, to automate, streamline processes, operate more efficiently and combat theft and loss.

Safety and Theft Prevention

Smarter Technologies Group creates cable, freight, asset and train tracking; lone worker; and station security solutions, powered by RFID and IoT sensor technologies, to promote safety, prevent theft, enable sustainable development and optimise asset lifecycle in the global Rail industry.

Sustainable IoT-enabled Business Model

The IoT has already had a huge positive impact on the Rail industry with smart tickets, passenger entertainment and information and dynamic route scheduling.

Our solutions take this a step further using IoT and RFID technologies to secure, monitor track and recover copper cable; enable predictive equipment maintenance; identify supply chain bottlenecks; and create a safer, more cost effective, time saving and sustainable Railway business model.

Smarter Technologies Group’s Orion Data Network Solutions

Real Time Data About Railway Assets

Smarter Technologies Group’s Railway solutions comprise a system of GPS, non-GPS and switch tags; and gateways. These integrate with a huge variety IoT sensors, which feed back critical data such as location; temperature; impact; tilt; moisture; vibration; gas, solid and liquid levels; and many other factors, to help you manage your Railway assets.

The data is fed back over our privately owned, secure Orion Data Network in real time, reporting every 15 seconds when your railway assets are in motion and every 2 minutes when they are still.

Emergency Alerts to Your Mobile

In addition to monitoring 24/7 Orion also sends you instant alerts to your mobile whenever there is an anomaly in your pre-defined data. For example, if you have Rail freight that is supposed to be at a certain temperature, Orion will alert you if the temperature rises or drops below the parameters you’ve set. Similarly, if you’ve set geo-fenced locations for some of our most valuable Railway equipment and that equipment is moved outside of those set locations, Orion will send an instant emergency alert to your phone or pager, so you can take immediate action to recover it.

NFC Group railway industry

Asset Recovery

The Orion tags attached to your Rail assets can also be set to beacon mode so, if a Railway asset is moved or stolen, it can be recovered by a hand-held directional scanner that can find its exact location.

Our technology outperforms other recovery solutions because it does not require line of sight to recover your lost and stolen Railway assets. Orion can also penetrate concrete walls and other solid structures, so you can track your assets, such as copper cable, when it is installed underground or if it has been moved to any indoor or outdoor location.

If any of your Railway assets are stolen, our trained experts will liaise with the police on your behalf and find the asset ,while also helping to collate evidence to secure an arrest and conviction.

To date, the system has recovered over £25 million pounds worth of goods and there have been over 500 arrests across all industry sectors.

Customer-Focused Railway Management


At Smarter Technologies group we understand that, when the Railways are managed by a public body utilising tax payers’ money it’s essential to commit to sustainable development principles and value for money for customers and stakeholders. Where railways are privately owned or there is joint responsibility, the companies involved also require an asset and security solution that achieves enhanced productivity and time and cost savings, while also ensuring the safety of customers, visitors and personnel.

Reduce Costs and Carbon Footprint

All of our Railway asset tracking, monitoring, recovery and security solutions reduce costs by up to 75% more than other asset solutions for the rail sector. By reducing waste, automating processes and increasing productivity our Orion Data network solutions reduce your carbon footprint and contribute to a more sustainable Rail industry business model.

A Complete Solution for All Railway Assets

To help create a more sustainable business, our end-to-end asset solutions are focused on maximising the usage and minimising the cost of asset and system lifecycles by defining the most appropriate approach to asset maintenance, inspection, retirement and renewal.

Our solutions can be used to track any Railway asset including plant, machinery, property, buildings, trains and other vehicles, freight and cargo, track, cable, signalling, structures and earthworks, electrical power and fuel, drainage, waste and telecommunication equipment.

Railway Asset Maintenance


Smarter Technologies Group’s Railway Asset Maintenance Solutions allow you to have a 360 degree view of all your assets 24/7. You can monitor your inventory and share equipment between stations, ensuring that every item is accounted for and nothing is lost.

The system uses sensors and data analytics to determine when Railway equipment maintenance is due, so you can automatically create predictive maintenance schedules. This maximise asset lifecycle and saves time and money by automating previously manual systems and freeing up key personnel for other critical tasks. In this way Orion gives you an understanding of how you utilise your Railway assets and a clearly defined approach to usage, failure, degradation, maintenance, planning, delivery, purchasing and outsourcing.

Cable Theft Prevention

Copper cable theft is still a huge problem in the UK. To demonstrate the knock-on effects of just one isolated cable theft incident, in 2016 a single man working alone used axe to chop the cable from live lines in the East Midlands. This theft resulted in 3,267 minutes of train delays and cost Network Rail over £164,500. There are also many organised crime gangs operating across the UK Railway network and individual gangs have been known to carry out upwards of 35 thefts per year.

The Orion Data Network can penetrate dense surfaces and so the tags are still effective when attached to copper cable underground. This means you can secure your copper cable with covert tags and track and monitor the location of the cable as well as use tamper sensors to send an alert of anyone digs up or cuts the cable.

Your personnel and the police can get to the scene of the crime before the criminal gets away, or in the event that they have already absconded, the cable can then be tracked and recovered using our hand-held RFID readers to pinpoint its exact location.

We work with you and with the police to ensure swift recovery and to help ensure that cable thieves are arrested and convicted to deter and prevent further offences.

Rail Freight Tracking

Copper cable theft is still a huge problem in the UK. To demonstrate the knock-on effects of just one isolated cable theft incident, in 2016 a single man working alone used axe to chop the cable from live lines in the East Midlands. This theft resulted in 3,267 minutes of train delays and cost Network Rail over £164,500. There are also many organised crime gangs operating across the UK Railway network and individual gangs have been known to carry out upwards of 35 thefts per year.

Freight trains move a total volume of around 17.8 billion net tonnes of freight over 34.9 million kilometres per annum. This valuable cargo is at risk from loss, theft and damage and needs to be protected.

The Orion Data Network can be used to track the freight trains, the containers and pallets carrying the freight and the cargo itself to give you a comprehensive view of the location, temperature, security, volume, local environment, weather and other important factors.

This means that valuable assets like freight containers and cargo can be tracked and monitored throughout the Rail supply chain, identifying weak security spots and bottlenecks and recovering lost and stolen assets to predict and streamline required processes and save time and money.

Lone Workers on the Railway

Orion tags can be attached to individual pieces of equipment and other assets in remote locations and personnel can also wear tags that show their exact location at all times. We also have SOS and man down alarms that can easily be activated in an emergency to enable fast response, mitigating the risks associated with working in these environments.



Track monitor and recover Railway assets like vehicles, equipment, trains, cargo, containers, buildings and more


Prevent cable theft and recover stolen cable


Create a sustainable Railway business model with a reduced carbon footprint


Orion provides up to 75% more cost savings than other Railway tracking and recovery solutions


Orion helps the Rail industry to meet legal and health and safety requirements


Real time data reporting every 15 seconds in motion and every 2 minutes when static


Long lasting, durable, weatherproof tags that easily integrate with a huge range of IoT sensors


Protect lone Rail workers and equipment in remote locations

Start tracking your assets

Contact NFC Group


Our experts are waiting to answer your enquiries and help design a solution for you.

Call on 0330 223 5000

NFC Group location


Smarter Technologies Group 1 Austin Park, Yeoman Road, Ringwood, BH24 3FG, United Kingdom

Railway enquiries

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