ProRail DataLab: smooth implementation is the next challenge after experiment

Dutch infrastructure manager ProRail started in 2017 with DataLab, a special cooperation that is engaged in developing new solutions for preventing faults using data analysis and sensoring. The first experiments of the lab have now been implemented or are approaching this phase.

Within the Datalab, ProRail collaborates with universities, institutions such as TNO, contractors, engineering firms and various startups. Some of the first projects included the creation of a model for predicting hot spots for track runners and a predictive model for point failures.

Crowded platforms

Since then, experiments have been added for the monitoring of railway tracks and ballast beds, sensoring of freight trains from the track, sensoring the infrastructure from passenger trains and the analysis of track, signals and catenary. In addition, the DataLab is working on experiments to support train traffic controllers, monitor the energy supply and soon to steer the crowd of passenger on platforms in the right direction. Certainly important now because of the coronavirus.

ProRail DataLab programme Paul van der Voort

DataLab program manager Paul van der Voort, will give a presentation at the digital conference RailTech Infra Forum on 17 June about the experiences that the DataLab has gained so far with the use of sensoring and data analysis in rail. In addition to an overview of the various projects and their progress, Van der Voort also discusses the challenges that the actual implementation of these new techniques entails. “The transition from an experiment to the pilot phase in daily practice is often large, but the step to implementation is enormous.”

More trains, less disruption

The aim is to ensure that more trains can run and that there is less disruption to the infrastructure, through sensoring, information integration, data science, simulation, robotics and 3D and 4D technology. But also for use in projects, at stations and in operational management.

Paul van der Voort is one of the speakers at the digital conference RailTech Infra Forum on June 17 and 18, 2020. For the full program and registration, visit the event website.

Author: Paul van den Bogaard

Paul van den Bogaard is editor of SpoorPro, a sister title of RailTech

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