As new infrastructure and trains are built and existing rolling stock retrofitted, new technology could unlock greater efficiency. This is supported by the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail which highlights that pre-emptive maintenance could reduce costs and delays.
Similarly, the Rail Technical Strategy (‘Reliable and Easy to Maintain’ functional priority) proposes a vision where asset reliability and availability will be maximised by design, remote inspection, and targeted intervention with humans and machines working together. This could be enabled by condition-based inspection and maintenance, supported by robotics and artificial intelligence (AI).
RSSB’s R&D team is hosting the ‘The future of train maintenance – virtual workshop and showcase’ webinar on 19 October 2021 (10:00-12:30). This event will bring together industry challenge owners and those with potential solutions to build up a picture of potential robotic and autonomous solutions for current and future train maintenance challenges.