Blockchain will now be used to improve rail possession planning for the first time in the UK. The news comes following a unique partnership between infrastructure consultancy Amey and tech firm Finboot. The technology will be pioneered by Amey alongside Transport for Wales on its transformation of the Core Valley Line rail network.
Blockchain, an immutable ledger which digitally records transactions, will be used to agree access times for engineers to safely access rail tracks for maintenance, renewals and enhancements.
Blockchain’s ability to securely and independently record decisions provides a marked improvement on traditional planning systems, which can be open to duplication and inconsistency. While improving accountability and security, Blockchain will also lead to greater automation of possession planning.
The impact will reduce costs, improve planning and operational efficiencies, while also improving safety.
Speaking on the announcement, Tom Kinnear, Partner, Amey Consulting said: “Safe, effective, and predictable possession planning is essential in keeping our engineers safe and our rail network running. Through partnering with Finboot, we will provide the rail industry a UK first, in using Blockchain to radically improve this process. Opening the rail industry to new technologies from other industries is essential if we are to innovate, and build a forward thinking, digital-first railway we can all be proud of.”
Juan Miguel Perez, CEO & Co-Founder, Finboot says: “At Finboot we've been thinking about how blockchain can provide a digital solution for the complex requirements of railway maintenance. To have this opportunity to explore and develop this with Amey, a leader in the railway industry, is great. Blockchain is a key piece of industrial tech that will bring added transparency and real-time visibility to such an important process within the rail sector.”
Today’s news follows a Railway Industry Association (RIA) report launched in March 2023, outlining the challenges and opportunities facing the rail industry on data and digital technologies. Among its recommendations was the need for the industry ‘to open itself up to different ideas from new and experienced innovators in its own and other industries’.
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