Network Rail logoOn Wednesday 2 July Capgemini UK won the best use of technology and innovation award for the Linear Asset Decision Support (LADS) project at the sixth annual Network Rail Partnership Awards.

Capgemini and Bentley Systems have helped Network Rail present data from 14 disparate systems in a form engineers can act upon. By improving planning of track maintenance and enabling better decisions in the field, LADS (Linear Asset Decision Support) will play a key role in helping Network Rail improve safety throughout the UK rail network.

This development represents an industry first in terms of scale of deployment and level of integration with trackside operations. Features include: data consolidation and visualisation, data alignment and predictive insight into degradation and intervention requirements, use of cloud for development and training, plus flexible, collaborative and reactive development, enabled a demanding timescale to be met.

This video (3m43s) from Network Rail – Turning Data Into Intelligence – explains what LADS is all about and what it’s delivering: 

To cap a very successful evening, LADS was also awarded “highly commended” for the entry in the Best Medium Project category.

I spoke to Capgemini’s account director for Network Rail Lee Wellbrook who said:
“We are immensely proud of the hugely successful LADS project. At the Network Rail Partnership Awards themselves we were the only IT company there – all the other projects were civil engineering type projects – new bridges, heritage approach to old stations, and so on – and so I was very surprised and pleased when we not only won the technology award, but were also highly commended in the medium project category. No-one else had a single project that was shortlisted in two categories, so to win in one category and get highly commended in another is a massive achievement.

“We were fortunate to have with us on the evening a few key colleagues from Network Rail who were instrumental in the successful completion of the project. We also made sure that they joined us on stage to receive the award.

“The rail network is a vital contributor to the country’s economy but faces huge growth in demand. Network Rail has to meet that growing demand, but has an even bigger obligation to safety – balancing those two is a huge challenge, and new CEO Mark Carne is absolutely committed to the safety agenda. LADS is one of the key innovations that will help Network Rail towards meeting this challenge.”

You can see a full list of winners at this year’s Network Rail Partnership Awards at the Network Rail website.

Collecting the award:

Pictured above (L to R): Professor Richard Parry-Jones CBE, Network Rail Chairman; Stefan Sadnicki, Capgemini Project Manager; Paul Meads, Network Rail Principal Engineer (Track and Civils); Steve Hobden, Network Rail Programme Manager; Russell Hodge, Capgemini Programme Lead; Ed Byrne, Network Rail Partnership Awards host.