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We have launched an initiative to progressively introduce intelligent infrastructure across the national network.
These self monitoring assets will make a major contribution to improving overall business performance and delivering the future world class railway, and will lead to further improvements in reliability, safety and efficiency.
The initiative has captured the imagination of the industry and as a consequence the Railway Industry Association (RIA) organised a supplier conference in December, to discuss how best to respond to this exciting opportunity. Professor Andrew McNaughton, Network Rail’s Chief Engineer, launched the event and presented the industry with a challenge: “We need suppliers to work with us to deliver solutions, which help to bring about a step change in business performance, rather than simply supplying engineering widgets.”
Metronet and Tube Lines were invited to join Network Rail and RIA in collaborative exercise with the supply industry, which for the first time brought all three infrastructure companies together, to work jointly with suppliers.
Suppliers expressed their firm commitment to develop business based solutions, which maximised the benefits to all parties. They also raised a number of key areas which would help them to achieve this, such as gaining a real understanding of client’s business needs and being able to identify the scale and size of key areas for improvement. There was also a discussion on risk, investment and the ownership of intellectual property.
It was agreed to set up a series of workshops, with a panel of supplier and client representatives to develop the following themes:
A Good Supplier Guide, has been produced. This is a working document to be used by suppliers and clients alike, as an effective collaborative framework, to achieve mutual goals within sound business relationships.
Andy Doherty, our Director of Railway System Engineering said “This is just the beginning of an exciting venture and we should meet again in a year to review progress and to focus on further challenges and opportunities.” This guide is also published on the RIA, Metronet and Tube lines web sites.