THE CHINESE Ministry of Railways has decided to adopt radio-frequency transponder tagging for automatic vehicle identification, compatible with the standards adopted by the Association of American Railroads and the UIC.

On January 28 the Dallas-based Amtech Systems division of Intermec Technologies announced that it had won an initial contract from MoR to equip the 60000 km network in partnership with Harbin VEIC Technology Development Corp. The decision follows a three-year pilot project.

Amtech will supply 440000 read-only tags, which will be fitted by Harbin VEIC beneath all CR vehicles. Chinese-made antennae will be mounted in the track, connected to readers supplied by Amtech. This arrangement differs from the AAR standard where tags are mounted on each side of a vehicle. The first equipment is due to be fitted later this year, with completion expected by the end of 2001. n