Sunday, 27th September 2020

Intelligent infrastructure arriving at a platform near you

New Cognizant-led consortium will build on "Intelligent Infrastructure" to digitally transform rail operations supporting 4.8 million passenger journeys daily.

Cognizant has been selected by Network Rail, Britain's principal rail infrastructure owner, to lead a new consortium tasked with delivering data-driven operations as part of a comprehensive Intelligent Infrastructure transformation programme.

Cognizant, in partnership with rail specialists Amey Consulting and Arup, has been awarded a five-year contract to design, build and operate digital capabilities based on artificial intelligence, internet of things, data analytics, and mobility technologies that will help improve Network Rail's asset management and overall performance.

Cognizant will lead the consortium in developing and applying enhanced data collection and analytics to Network Rail's more than 12,000 connected assets, such as track circuits, signal power supplies, and switches. The new capabilities will equip Network Rail with real-time condition monitoring and data-driven insights, aided by artificial intelligence, to improve decision-making and asset management. Network Rail expects to lower costs and enhance safety by predicting and preventing maintenance issues, prioritising work streams and minimising the time rail workers spend on the tracks. Passengers and freight customers are expected to experience fewer travel disruptions.

"To fulfill our ambition, we need to adopt a strong partnership model that harnesses expertise from across the industry," said Jacqueline Young, Intelligent Infrastructure Director, Network Rail. "We are forming a network of partnerships that will drive transformation across the railway, improving life for colleagues, working every day to maintain and renew our infrastructure, and ultimately providing a safe and reliable railway for the millions of passengers who depend on us every day."

"Industry estimates indicate passenger demand for rail will more than double over the next couple of decades, with freight demand rising as much as 140 percent," said Santosh Thomas, President, Global Growth Markets, Cognizant. "This is driving the need for new approaches in asset management – the ability to take a 'predict and prevent' approach to maintenance, and shaping a smarter, more efficient, cost-effective approach to whole life asset management."

Thomas continued, "Cognizant has been working with Network Rail for several years. We are thrilled to combine our expertise in digital technologies and large infrastructure projects with the knowledge and capabilities of our consortium partners, Arup and Amey Consulting. We expect to expand on this ecosystem to include other leading asset management experts as well. We look forward to delivering the game-changing digital solutions for Network Rail that will help make Britain's railways more efficient, safe, and reliable."

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