New tech for NR to increase efficiency and cut costs

NETWORK Rail is planning to spend up to 0.5% of its annual turnover, around £245million, on new technology and practices to increase efficiency and reduce costs.

According to Jon Shaw, NR chief engineer and acting group director for safety, technology and engineering, the move could save the company around £1.4bn a year by allowing it to develop a more proactive preventative maintenance regime for key lineside components.

Network Rail is investing heavily in new technology and working practices to increase efficiency and reduce costs. One example is the High Output Plant System (HOPS), which includes this mechanised machinery for quicker installation of piles for overhead line equipment. NETWORK RAIL

Replacing these before they fail and cause disruption to train services could save thousands of delay minutes each year. Technology could also be used to reduce bridge strikes from overheight lorries and level crossing incidents by allowing connected road vehicles to ‘talk’ to safety equipment at these locations.

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Mr Shaw says the rail industry currently lags behind other sectors in using technology and data to improve safety, reliability and efficiency.

New trains such as the Crossrail Class 345s and Class 800/801 IETs generate huge amounts of data on the condition of assets, such as overhead line equipment and track, and this can be used by NR to gain a deeper understanding of its infrastructure.

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