Thales UK ‘Highly Commended’ in the National Rail Awards 2013
Leading the rail sector with ‘game changing’ technology and industry culture change
20th September 2013 – The Intelligent Infrastructure Programme, which has been delivered by a partnership between Network Rail and Thales UK, was recognised as ‘Highly Commended’ within the Innovation of the Year Award category at the prestigious National Rail Awards 2013 last night. Staged at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London, the audience included Norman Baker MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department of Transport and 1,300 rail industry business leaders. The Awards were presented by BBC News presenter Huw Edwards.
Described as ‘game changing’ in leading industry standards, the programme was recognised as ‘Highly Commended’ out of a substantial number of Innovation of the Year Award entries for introducing cost-effective and major changes to existing maintenance processes. The programme’s ‘Predict and Prevent‘ nationwide approach, which now monitors over 25,000 assets on a nationwide basis, has directly resulted in an estimated reduction of 450,000 delay minutes – improving service for the travelling public and freight operators. For Network Rail, adoption of the solution has helped deliver a culture change on a national scale. Maintenance teams are better prepared than ever before when maintaining the railway infrastructure. The adoption of a centralised, remote condition monitoring solution for infrastructure asset monitoring places the UK technically in advance of other European rail infrastructure systems.
The annual National Rail Awards are judged by a panel of 21 rail industry experts. The Innovation of the Year Award 2013 recognises new business solutions introducing technology and working practices. The collaborative Network Rail and Thales UK Intelligent Infrastructure Programme is unique in operating as a single team entity combining the skills, disciplines and competencies involved in railway maintenance to deliver an end-to-end solution.
The ‘Highly Commended’ award certificate was jointly accepted by John Smith, Programme Manager for Intelligent Infrastructure at Network Rail and David Taylor, Thales UK’s Account Director for Network Rail.
John Smith said:
“It is an honour that our joint collaborative approach has been recognised in the National Rail Awards. Network Rail sees technology as a key enabler to managing the UK railway infrastructure for the future. The Intelligent Infrastructure Programme is a partnership between Network Rail and Thales UK that is delivering a significant improvement in the performance of our network and is the catalyst for changing the way we maintain key railway assets. The combination of technology and business transformation enables us to make informed asset management decisions and interventions improving availability and reducing whole life cycle costs in the future.”
Alistair McPhee, Vice President of Ground Transportation Systems at Thales UK said:
“I am delighted that the truly innovative approach to delivering a network wide predictive condition monitoring system is being recognised by the rail industry. We continue to work very closely with Network Rail to expand the assets that the system is monitoring and are pleased that the system is playing a role in reducing delay due to infrastructure failures. We believe that the nationwide implementation is the largest rail infrastructure condition monitoring system globally and Network Rail are therefore leading the way in applying such enterprise technology on such a scale.”
The close working relationship established between the partners began with the creation of the joint steering group. Over the past five years the partners have worked as a single team sharing joint goals and objectives, consulting collaboratively on new assets to be monitored combining ICT, rail operation and business perspectives.