State-of-the-art risk monitoring technology could soon be used to pinpoint faster, targeted improvements to safety and reliability on Britain’s railways at the push of a button, according to the industry’s independent safety body RSSB.
Technology already applied in the oil and nuclear sectors could be used in rail to provide tomorrow’s safety manager with a kind of real-time ‘intelligence console’ about incidents, infrastructure and rolling stock faults, providing rapid tactical analysis, automating parts of the existing paper trail, fuelling efficient, nimble-footed board room decisions.
The thinking is reflected in The Rail Industry’s Data and Risk Strategy, published by RSSB and steered by a cross-industry group. It sets out how the railways can use data better to make the next step change in safety performance and build on their excellent track record as the safest in Europe, prevent delays and disruption, retain high productivity and reliability, and continue to prevent train accidents.
The first step of the strategy has begun with the new Safety Management Intelligence System up and running and actively used by Network Rail and train operating companies.
Chair of RSSB’s cross-industry Data and Risk Strategy Group, Brian Tomlinson said:
In essence this is about ensuring we get the risk intelligence that a world class railway needs, efficiently provided to the right people in the right format and at the right time.
It means potentially the time window from being alerted to incidents and close calls, and the ultimate remedial decision or investment to manage the risk, is reduced from years to weeks in some cases. At the same time the industry is taking advantage of more cost-effective IT, with reduced costs in annual support, hosting and on-going development.