TrenTrace IoT Telematics Case Study
IoT Telematics Success

TrenTrace redefines rail tracks with IoT device redesign

Discover how longstanding customer TrenTrace cut its time to market by 50% by using our IoT device design service.

Ensuring network rail resilience   

TrenTrace specialises in the design of custom IoT software that measures the temperature of rail tracks. The resilience and efficiency of rail networks depend on the operator’s ability to gather the information needed to identify the optimal temperature and monitor it on an ongoing basis. This enables the tracks to be stretched when they’re laid to what is called ‘neutral stress’ – so when they hit the optimal temperature, they’re under neither compression or tension. This gives them the best chance of surviving extremes of hot and cold, without breaking or buckling.

In 2008, TrenTrace had partnered with another company to take on the challenge of designing a wireless rail temperature sensor for Irish Rail. The resulting system was a simple self-contained unit that clipped underneath the rail track and ‘woke up’ every 30 minutes to measure the temperature. This data was then sent via SMS message to be picked up and stored in a database.

There were a number of reliability issues. The unit’s location, underneath the metal rail track, made it difficult to connect to the mobile network. The constrained space also meant the battery had to be relatively small. When the modem was turned on and looked for the mobile network, this resulted in a huge surge of energy which rapidly drained the battery. The partner company was unable to resolve the issues, so TrenTrace looked elsewhere. They first come across Eseye during the research stage of that project.

Why TrenTrace chose Eseye

Specialist IoT boosts system performance

Icon_time to market

Time to market

Eseye’s rapid prototyping methodology cut the time to market in half.


Temperature measurement

IoT based system to measure temperature of tracks enables reliable and efficient service.


Opportunity to expand

Eseye’s AnyNet+ SIM allows TrenTrace to deploy its system almost anywhere, with ease.

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Eseye appealed to TrenTrace because it offers three stages of design: proof of concept, device prototyping, and full production design services. Eseye’s IoT device design used GPRS to connect the customer’s installation site to the mobile network. The data was then transferred seamlessly via IoT connectivity to be stored in a database and made available for the user to view on a smartphone, laptop or tablet. 

Harnessing IoT with TrenTrace

Boosting system performance

Eseye has provided IoT device design services to TrenTrace since 2012. TrenTrace, part of Irish software company Aldolex – was the very first to use its HERA 600 router. Together with Eseye’s AnyNet+ cellular connectivity solution, this router is at the core of the highly successful wireless track temperature measurement system developed by TrenTrace for Irish Rail.

The companies have since expanded the system’s functionality to monitor and record three further types of environmental information vital to ensuring the reliability of Irish Rail’s network.

TrenTrace- device and tracks

Broadening capability

Eseye used its HERA 600 router, with embedded Eseye AnyNet+ SIM card, as the base for the design, which enabled rapid prototyping and proof of concept. The trials were successful, and a final board design was agreed. Despite the arrival of the pandemic, this was delivered and has been up and running since 2020 with units currently installed on Irish Rail’s network. 

Hera 600 router

Straightforward connectivity

Setting up communication between the unit in the field and AWS is simple thanks to Eseye’s AnyNet+ SIM cards. “It’s all ready to go – which is great from our perspective, as this isn’t our area of expertise, we go into the board, log into AWS, put in the SIM card number and the AnyNet+ SIM sends the certificate and seamlessly sets up connectivity.” says Declan O’Brien.

TrenTrace- device board

Guaranteed data security

Data and overall system security is a major priority for TrenTrace. Eseye’s AWS platform manages the security certificates for the units in the field, while every SNS message is digitally signed, ensuring data is protected from where it’s measured in the field right through to when it’s presented to the user.

TrenTrace- monitoring screen

We met up to see if they could help with a redesign and the answer was, of course, yes. Eseye came up with a bespoke IoT device design that worked really quickly. A test unit was built and left on the track for month or so. There were some reliability issues, due to the concept of trying to measure from directly under the rail, but it worked a hell of a lot better than other system did

Declan O’Brien, Director

For many businesses and individuals, the idea of designing an IoT device is quite daunting. It can be a complex and time-consuming process. Eseye has over 10 years’ experience building connected devices in the IoT and M2M world helping customers like TrenTrace to meet their short- and long-term business drivers

Jon Darley, Director of Things

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