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High Performance Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) in Railway Applications

Kronborgsgränd 11
164 87 KISTA,
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TagMaster is a world-leading supplier of long-range identification systems. Using 2.45GHz Radio Frequency Identification, TagMaster automatically identifies and positions all kind of rolling stock with high precision, at high speed and in the most demanding environments.

The system consists of readers and ID-tags, developed and proven to meet the specific requirements of the railway industry. The system is resistant to EMI, vibration and shock, which make it ideal for use in railway applications.


Traffic and passenger information: The TagMaster system provides real-time information of a train’s location. This information can be transferred to passenger information systems at stations and terminals. An example of such integration can be found in the Hamburg Metro.

Operation and maintenance: The TagMaster system integrates well with different kinds of measuring and control systems. Integrated with a wheel quality system on the Dutch Railway, the TagMaster system provides information of which exact wheel that has an abnormal condition. With a direct link to the maintenance workshop, a train with severe wheel flats can immediately be taken out for repair service. The result is a condition-based maintenance system that has substantially improved the quality level of the wheels and reduced the wear of the infrastructure.

The TagMaster system provides accurate and real-time information of train locations, supplied to passenger information systems at stations and terminals.
Tracking information and configuration of wagons within a train set can be automatically provided by the TagMaster system.
TagMaster Heavy Duty Reader. It has been developed for mounting underneath the train, and can also be mounted directly on the sleeper.
TagMaster Heavy Duty ID-Tag is available in a range of fixed or programmable versions.
TagMaster Track Mounted Reader identifies ID-Tags and can also determine the direction of the train with its built-in Doppler radar.

Positioning for on-board management: The system enables accurate positioning of trains for on-board purposes such as passenger information on the train and automatic change of radio channel or power level in different zones. The system is used for positioning of railcars in the London Underground and the Madrid Metro.


Tags mounted on the moving object: Tags are mounted on the locomotive or wagon whereas stationary readers are mounted on the side of the track or on the sleepers.

Reader mounted on the moving object: A Heavy Duty reader is mounted underneath the locomotive and Heavy Duty tags are mounted on the sleepers between the rails.


The TagMaster reader consists of an antenna, a transmitter / receiver, a computer function to process and store information, and a physical interface for communication with other systems. The reader identifies ID-tags at distances up to 6m, and can also determine the direction of the train with its built-in Doppler radar.


The Heavy Duty reader has been developed for train- or sleeper-mounting. As a complement, TagMaster also supplies a handheld reader for identification of railcars in maintenance workshops.

For detailed information on Readers from TagMaster, please click on the TagMaster Readers link at the bottom of the page.


All TagMaster ID-tags have a unique eight-digit identification number, and a 32-bit check sum, which ensures the high reliability of the system. ID-tags are available as read-only or read / write. Information storage requires only the TagMaster reader and software. The power consumption is not affected by the number of times the tag is identified and the life expectancy of the tag is therefore fully predictable.


The Heavy Duty (HD) ID-tag is extremely resistant, totally encapsulated and maintenance-free. It has a predicted life expectancy of six, eight or ten years. The HD tags also come in explosion-proof ‘EX’ versions.

For detailed information on ID-tags from TagMaster, please click on the corresponding link below.


To increase the wheel quality and reduce the maintenance and infrastructure costs due to wheel defects, the quality system ‘GOTCHA’ has been installed on the Dutch Railway for NedTrain Services and ProRail. The system measures wheel quality and axle load at high speed, at several locations along the track. All passenger railcars carry TagMaster Heavy Duty tags that are identified at each measuring station by TagMaster readers to match the values with the correct wheel pairs.

TagMaster readers are installed to monitor the movements of 30 local trains at 12 stations in Bilbao, Spain, to improve the passenger information. Each train is equipped with tags on each side for identification by readers at the platforms.

The RFID system from TagMaster has been integrated with the Motorola TETRA radio system to provide The London Underground with a full-scale communication solution. Readers are mounted underneath the train cabs, identifying ID-tags mounted on the sleepers, enabling the on-board train radio to automatically change talk group as the train enters a new zone.

See also:
TagMaster on Road Traffic Technology

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TagMaster AB
Kronborgsgränd 11
164 87 KISTA

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