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New digital databank and app for track maintenance improves punctuality and safety

New digital databank and app for track maintenance improves punctuality and safety

Published 31.1.2019

The Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency (FTIA) is gradually implementing new digital tools and systems to help maintenance. These will improve flow of information between track maintenance personnel. For the passengers and transport professionals, it means improved punctuality and safety.

FTIA is responsible for the planning and maintenance of the railway network and the development of the rail network. We are inviting maintenance providers to tender, and we will oversee maintenance work, supported by regional railway supervisors.

Until now, contractors and supervisors have used various different data systems and reporting tools. It has made monitoring and sharing information difficult, and reporting has not always been consistent and easy to use, especially with changing contractors.

With the Transport Agency's digitalisation project 2016–2018, the Raid-e subproject was initiated to create an electronic data management system for the railway property and its maintenance. The goal was to unify and ensure the flow of information for track maintenance and to make it easier to anticipate and optimise related work.

Electronic railway databank RATKO and its applications

Track site management app RATKO was created as the basis of data management. This databank for railway property and infrastructure offers information for all partners and stakeholder groups. This way, all parties have access to the same information at the same time, so information flow is improved. This will help daily track maintenance, operations, and planning track improvement work.

Management application RAIKU was developed for the daily use of track maintenance workers. Workers will receive their daily tasks in the app and can use their smartphone or terminal device to log their work. Since the app is shared by everyone, information is produced the same way everywhere, everyone uses the same definitions, and information is equally accurate everywhere.

Outside daily maintenance, the RYHTI app was developed for the data management of larger repair and renovation sites. Earlier, information was distributed in Excel files by e-mail from maintenance workers to supervisors and regional managers. Now, repair suggestions can be logged directly in the electronic system using a smartphone or computer without having to send separate documents. Later, repair and renovation tasks added in the system can be directed flexibly to different implementation channels and also used as initial information for larger improvement projects.

Vast background applications, databases and smart data production methods

A separate application was also developed for property materials management (RAHTI) and system tools were developed for the main user (RATTI). A track inspection database was created for mechanical track inspection, and an order server was created for storing and distributing the results and reports from inspections.

New data production methods were tested by for example trying out machine vision for identifying track signs, automatically producing railway network load information and using laser scanning data.

“The RAID-e project produced an important collection of digital applications, databases and systems that provide a good basis for future development of track maintenance and property management”, says Ari-Pekka Manninen, Development Manager at Finnish Transport Agency.

Inquiries:

Development Manager Ari-Pekka Manninen, Finnish Transport Agency, tel. +358 29 5343 619, ari-pekka.manninen@vayla.fi