RailNet AEI Reader System

Comet Electronics LLC, the leading provider of Automatic Equipment Identification (AEI) equipment, is now producing the RailNet AEI Reader System. With an install base of over 4,000 AEI sites, RailNet AEI Reader Systems are the de facto standard for Class I 1 and regional railroad AEI applications throughout North America.

Comet’s RailNet AEI Reader System is designed to comply with the AAR S-918 Standard for Automatic Equipment


Identification(AEI) and is available in single or double track configurations and is capable of handling trains operating at full track speeds. The standard equipment configuration includes a 4’ x 6’ hut with standby power and lightning protection.

The standard system can handle up to four separate host sessions. This means that the system can transmit AEI “clean consist” data in up to four different formats to four separate host locations. This feature allows railroads to share AEI data where necessary and still receive data in their standard format. In addition, the system supports a maintenance reporting session for each consist reporting session.

The RailNet AEI Reader Systems uses AEI to identify rail equipment by reading electronically coded radio frequency (RF) identification tags mounted to locomotives, railcars, trailers, end-of-train units(EOT) and intermodal containers. AEI Reader systems provide automated tracking of railcars and shipments via RF tags, and make shipment location information available to railroads and their customers.

Please contact Comet Electronics LLC to discuss RailNet AEI Reader system solutions.  Turnkey solutions are also available.


  • Largest installed base of systems with approximately 4,000 AEI Reader sites currently in service.
  • 0 to 80 mph operation
  • Single and double track configurations
  • Handles train stopping and reverse movements
  • Over 30 years of proven performance
  • Highest proven “up time” of any available railroad AEI Reader product
  • Integrated electrical surge protection for increased reliability
  • Extensive support with detailed documentation, training, and repair facilities
  • Remote diagnostics and software code loading
  • Field upgradeable processor unit prevents system obsolescence
  • All AEI Systems comply with the Association of American Railroads (AAR) S-918 AEI specification
  • All AEI Reader systems comply with the industry standard S918A AEI Common Data Format Specification for site to host communications
  • If you don’t need the full features of an AEI system but still need to read tags, there is an alternative offered in the Railert ATR System also available from Comet. The system is low cost and designed to be installed by you.

 System Configuration


  • RailNet APU-102
  • LX800 Board with 512MB RAM, 1024 MB Compact Flash, 10/100 Ethernet.hut backboard
  • TDA-104 Digital Interface Board
  • Reader Board
  • Quad Serial RS-232 Interface Board (4 ports)
  • 56K Modem Board


  • Zero-speed wheel detector complete with a TDA-105 amplifier module.


  • Inductive Presence Loop with amplifier.
  • Audio Frequency Track Circuit.


Two antennas per track:

  • Parapanel antennas standard for single track locations.
  • Low profile log-periodic antennas for between tracks or restricted clearance locations.


  • 24 volts, 100 Ah (standard)


  • 4’ X 6’ walk-in aluminum hut (standard).
  • 60” x 32” x 24” Signal Case (option).


  • AAR “Clean Consist” post-train reporting (standard).
  • Tracker, car-by-car reporting (special order).


  • Up to 79 MPH (specify speed at time of order).DSC05660


  • Single or Multiple Track, unrestricted or restricted clearance (specify type at time of order).


  • Up to four separate consist reporting sessions with parameters for host location and reporting format.
  • Maintenance reporting functions for each consist reporting session.


  • S-918A (T-94) (Standard)


The RailNet Reader System is compatible with the Progress Rail (formerly GE) Micro HBD running a CPU-3 or newer processor.