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AEI Tag Programming


Softrail has the necessary equipment to encode (program) data into both new and used AEI tags, and we perform this service for a variety of customers.  Since AEI tags can have their encoded data changed up to 10,000 times, new data can be programmed into tags that have been previously used.

Many of our customers send us used tags to be re-programmed.  Some customers also keep a pool of their used tags at our facility.  This enables them to send us tag information via fax, telephone, or email and receive their tags the next day.  If we receive a tag order prior to 1:00 PM Eastern Time there is a good chance the programmed tags will be shipped the same day.


The price to re-program a tag provided by a customer is $4.00.


Please note that the AT5110 and AT5125 tags are no longer allowed to be re-programmed and placed on a railcar.  They must be replaced with the AT5118 or AT5133 tags.

The price to program tags purchased from Softrail is $1.00 per tag plus the price of the tag ($33 for new AT5118 tag and $41.10 for a new AT5133 tag).


While some of our customers want only new tags, other customers regularly purchase used tags from us ($21 for a used AT5118 tag and $23 for a used AT5133 tag) . Used tags that meet our test criteria (RF Read, tag leak, and programming) are purchased by us from a variety of sources. We warrant used tags for a period of one year.


Please note that used tags may not be in stock.

If you want us to program a large number of tags, it is probably best to fax (724 942-1480) or email ( the order to us using our order forms.  You can download a copy of our order forms by clicking on the button below.


Tag Mounting


Two tags are mounted on each railcar, one on the left side, and one for the right.


It is extremely important that the tag designated as the Left tag be mounted on the left side of the railcar and the Right-designated tag on the right side.  If they are not mounted on the correct sides, the wayside AEI reader will report the railcar’s orientation incorrectly.


The sides of a railcar are defined by their location relative to the handbrake end (called the B-end) of the railcar.  Imagine standing on the track and looking directly at the handbrake.  The left side of the car will be on your left, and the right side of the car will be on your right.


If the railcar has a hand brake on each end, the A and B end designations will be stenciled on the railcar, and the B end will be used as above to determine the left and right sides of the car. 


Locomotives have F and R stenciled on each end to designate the front and rear of the locomotive.  The rear end of the locomotive will be used as above to determine the left and right sides of the locomotive.


Tel. 724 942-1473 Ext 9


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