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Customer: Network Rail

Network Rail’s Wales & Western region is responsible for maintaining more than 2,700 miles of railway with a 5,500-strong workforce. The Race-Card is a spreadsheet-based tool used by Network Rail to coordinate data from Network Rail systems with contractor inputs to establish a single source of truth across possession and non-possession work each week. Working in collaboration with Network Rail’s Accelerated Innovation programme, within the R&D Portfolio and led by key stakeholders from the region, Asset Insights successfully delivered a web-based application 'Railworks' that showcased the art of the possible for future Race-Card digitisation efforts.

The challenge

The current process for coordinating Race-Cards relies heavily on manual effort and spreadsheets which carries an inherent safety risk and limits opportunities for reporting and optimisation across the portfolio. Different regional teams create Race-Cards to meet their own unique requirements which further adds to the complexity and time-consuming nature of the process.

The Solution

Asset Insights worked with stakeholders from across the business to understand the existing challenge and design a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) to demonstrate the value a digitised solution could offer and secure further investment. With support from the Accelerated Innovation team, a solution was co-created with stakeholders using an agile approach in just 12 weeks.

Developing the solution in six 2-week sprints allowed stakeholders to be involved in every step of decision making and steer requirements to prioritise features and deliver benefit faster. Asset Insights were able to build on components from their Engineering Digital Acceleration Platform EDAPt to create a highly functional, cloud hosted ‘Railworks’ web application at pace. The solution is accessible via 0365 across multiple devices, automating data inputs from existing Network Rail systems such as PPS and NROL to create a centralised solution to capture, edit, visualise and report against Wales & West possession data.

“Asset Insights’ knowledge of the rail industry combined with their technology expertise has been invaluable to the Railworks project. Their ability to translate our complex business requirements into a modern application, ensured we received high quality outputs at pace.”
Eve Walkden - Network Rail, Senior Business Improvement Manager, Wales and Western

The Benefits

A digitised Railworks solution has the opportunity to provide Network Rail with significant benefits including:

A centralised data system providing access to consistent & assured data for Network Rail and contractors & reducing safety risks.

Automated data population, flexible search and embedded process workflows make Railworks coordination more efficient.

Flexible solution adaptable to regional/programme requirements.

Real time reporting improves responsiveness & decision making capabilities

Highly visual, user centric tool, establishes different ways to explore the data by role

Supports optimisation of works by improving integration, coordination & communication across work