Here are some of our projects that have successfully transferred new technology to railways, working in close collaboration with technology partners and customers.
These projects are usually a "first" for the UK rail industry and demonstrate technology that makes a significant and measurable difference to the performance of railway assets, engineering and maintenance: improving passenger experience, reducing costs and enhancing safety assurance.
Our role and approach in these projects typically includes:
- Identification of industry needs and technology solutions.
- Development of technical and business requirements with customer stakeholders.
- Development of solution proposals with technology partners and winning support from customers.
- Actively managing the development of concept and detailed technical specifications (designs) with technology partners to ensure they meet customer and user requirements.
- Actively managing customer approvals processes and resolving any issues arising.
- Managing installation, access and testing with technology & installation partners and customers.
- Leading data analysis and benefits realisation.
- Overall project management including tracking, reporting and proactive communication with key stakeholders to maintain excellent relationships.
We can collaborate with established installers and technical services providers to offer a full "turnkey" solution, or we can work as part of a collaborative team delivering specific aspects of the project.
serious games and simulations
We are working with Train Operating Companies and expert technology partners to apply emerging AR & VR technologies that have delivered benefits in other industries to drive railway performance and efficiency.
video analysis of trains
Working with expert technology partners developing video analytic software for security & military applications and a major rolling stock maintainer, we successfully demonstrated the feasibility of analysing video taken from low-cost surveillance cameras to identify condition degradation. This enabled them to demonstrate:
- Significant cost savings when compared to inefficient manual visual inspection processes.
- Consistent and reliable detection and reporting of defects compared to manual processes.
- Install a cost-effective multi-camera system with a communications industry partner which records high definition video condition surveys of trains entering a depot that can then be automatically analysed for condition reports.
smart track monitor
We are collaborating with Smart Component Technologies and Transport for London on an Innovate UK First of A Kind Project to rapidly deliver operational field trials of battery-powered, wireless and ruggedised remote monitoring of critical track assets and to demonstrate:
- Increased asset reliability through early detection of degradation and intervention.
- Reduced cost of maintenance and service impacting failures.
- Enhanced safety assurance and reduced track access.
Platform Train Interface Gap
Working in close collaboration with technology partners, installers and Heathrow Express, we successfully developed and installed the first system on UK mainline rail that independently detects where the train has stopped and illuminates the gap between the train and platform with attention-grabbing high power blue lights - reducing the risk of passenger incidents when boarding and alighting the train. Read the news.
Retrofit Diesel Engine Monitoring
Working closely with Angel Trains and our partner to apply technology originally developed for the automotive sector, we successfully retrofitted simultaneous remote monitoring of engines on 3 connected rolling stock vehicles to generate significant new data:
- Providing valuable insight into engine performance in operation for the first time and challenging manufacturer assumptions.
- Enabling the development of powerful performance KPIs.
- Jointly presented to the IET Reliability Centered Maintenance Conference.
asset whole life cost optimisation
We developed prototype Whole Life Cost Models to support investment planning for a major railway infrastructure operator, working closely with asset engineers and strategic planners. Initially for Track assets and then expanded to cover all other asset areas. We then searched for technology solutions and rapidly implemented a sophisticated track investment model, partnering with a leading supplier from the Utility sector which:
- Enabled rapid construction and modelling of asset investment scenarios.
- Optimised investment decisions.
Collaborating with a major railway engineering designer, we applied proven software from the Aviation and Automotive industries to develop virtual models of station sub-systems to:
- Model engineering changes for a sub-station power upgrade and station cooling system and demonstrate that outputs can be produced rapidly and accurately for a RAMS (Reliability, Availability, Maintainability and Safety) study.
- Demonstrate that it is feasible to use a software-based approach compared to traditional manual tools with cost savings of up over 40%.
- Show the range of outputs that can be automated from such a virtual model such as fault trees, reliability assessments and system redundancy assessments.
model-based fault finding
Working with Train Operating Company engineers and maintainers, we successfully applied proven advanced modelling technology from the Aviation and Automotive Industries to developed virtual models of train door systems to:
- Support rapid root cause analysis and failure diagnostics of train door systems, based on the probabilities of failure of various electrical, mechanical and pneumatic sub-components.
- Provide engineers with a visual tool to support training, fault finding and knowledge capture.
- Produce decision trees and FMEA tables to support system design reviews (e.g. for engineering change).
maintenance information management
Working with a Train Operating Company engineering and maintenance organisation, with our partner we implemented a proven software solution from the Automotive, Aerospace & Defence Industries to provide a comprehensive content and document management system to manage asset and maintenance information over the lifetime of the asset. Significant efficiency and productivity benefits included:
- Highly controlled deployment of engineering and maintenance information to point of use.
- Content configuration management and automated change control of information throughout the entire document set
- Highly efficient control of information through libraries and automated workflows.
train Electrical event monitoring
Working with a train owner and operating company, with our partner we implemented technology that was originally from the Automotive and Defence Industries to remotely monitor high-speed electrical signals on trains. This has enabled them to:
- Develop a deep understanding of issues within train electrical systems through in-service monitoring.
- Develop test scenarios to replicate faults, system modifications to eliminate faults and verify effectiveness.
- Inform specifications for in-service monitoring solutions to inform maintenance interventions.
pcipp - lift monitoring
As a member of the People-Centred Intelligent Predict & Prevent consortium, an ambitious project with London Underground funded by Innovate UK, we successfully collaborated with our technology partner to retrofit condition monitoring for a passenger lift which:
- Demonstrated practical and rapid retrofit installation in a single shift.
- Enabled analysis of acceleration profiles and energy consumption identified asset condition indicators and performance trends.
pcipp - train monitoring
As a member of the People-Centred Intelligent Predict & Prevent consortium, an ambitious project with London Underground funded by Innovate UK, we successfully collaborated with our technology partner to retrofit condition monitoring for rolling stock which:
- Demonstrated practical and rapid retrofit installation in a single shift.
- Enabled monitoring of traction, batteries and compressors.
- Provided new insight into the operational environment and performance that had never been seen before.