Departure board and passenger concourse

UK: Software company ITAL has launched Merlin, a cloud-based platform designed to provide railway control rooms with a single interface for managing rolling stock, crew and schedules to support more efficient decision-making during complex disruption.

ITAL said it aims to address the problems which can occur when controllers need to use many different data sources, consider complex knock-on effects and input decision criteria into multiple systems. This can make it difficult to take the best decisions in a timely manner and then disseminate information.

Merlin is designed to present operators with real-time data from various resource planning systems, and provide intelligent analysis, contextualisation and clear information along with the automation of tedious, time-consuming and error-prone manual processes.

It interfaces with systems throughout the rail network, including Network Rail, the Rail Delivery Group and Darwin, bringing data into a single view for control room staff.

Within the platform, the Kinetic app enables real-time updates of driver schedule cards and crew diagrams with two-way communication for staff to accept, decline or acknowledge changes to their daily schedule. The app enables feedback from the crew and quick fault reporting.

‘The rail network is going through a new era of digitalisation and already contains huge volumes of data’, said ITAL CEO Derrick Bilsby. ‘Our platform is designed for complete flexibility and works with any system that has data available to ensure higher levels of operational efficiency, greater resilience to disruptions, and better communication with staff and customers.’