Sectors - Civil

Network Rail Use Innovative Tech for Planning

Network Rail is working with nPlan, a technology start-up, to use Machine Learning technology across its portfolio of projects. This could potentially transform the way major rail projects are delivered throughout the UK.

By using data from past projects to produce accurate and time forecasts, the partnership will deliver efficiencies in the way projects are planned and carried out and could also improve service reliability for passengers by reducing the risk of overruns.

In a world first for work on this scale, Network Rail tested nPlan’s risk analysis and assurance solutions on two of its largest rail projects, the Great Western Main Line and Sailsbury to Exeter Signalling project, representing more than £3 billion of capital expenditure. This exercise showed tha,t by leveraging past data, cost savings of up to £30 million could have been achieved on the Great Western Main Line Project.

Following on from the success of the trial, nPlan and Network Rail are now getting ready to embark on the next phase of deployment, rolling out the software on 40 projects before scaling up in all Network Rail projects by mid-2021.

Alastair Forbes, Network Rail’s Programme Director (Affordability) said: “By championing innovation and using forward-thinking technologies, we can deliver efficiencies in the way we plan and carry out rail upgrade and maintenance projects. It also has the benefit of reducing the risk of project overruns, which means in turn we can improve reliability for passengers.”

Dev Amratia, CEO and co-founder of nPlan, said: “Network Rail is amongst the largest infrastructure operators in Europe, and adopting technology to forecast and assure projects can lead to better outcomes for all of Britain’s rail industry, from contractors to passengers. I look forward to significantly delayed construction projects, and the disruption that causes for passengers, becoming a thing of the past, with our railways becoming safer and more resilient.”

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