Data analytics and real-time feedback from rolling stock and lineside assets mean that operational systems and IT infrastructure are converging, raising the prospect of more efficient and responsive rail operations. Our interactive live debate on May 17 assessed how far the rail industry can realise the potential of these trends.

The Convergent Railway

Justin Southcombe, Philippe de Laharpe, Chris Jackson, Chris Welford, and Steven Hagner

In this debate organised by Railway Gazette International, a panel of high-level speakers addressed these key issues:

What kind of operational data are passenger and freight operators seeking to help them to optimise their services?

What examples of best practice in the use of data tools are being seen in the international railway sector? In which applications are they being deployed?

How far can the supply industry help to deliver advanced analytics to support operators and maintenance teams? What are the risks of being ‘held captive’ to proprietary systems?

How can IT tools help infrastructure managers to mitigate the effects of increasing loads on ageing physical assets? Can advanced analytical tools bring a step change in understanding emerging risks to the railway, such as climate change?

What are the benefits of real-time monitoring and automation in the inspection and maintenance processes, for both trains and infrastructure?

What investment should railways make to network their assets and ensure that their IT architecture can handle the resulting data? What steps must railways take to ensure they are getting usable information and not just noise?

How should recruitment policies change to ensure that the global rail sector has the right skills for the ‘digital railway’ era?

Moderator: Chris Jackson, Editor-in-Chief, Railway Gazette


Supporting documents

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