Balfour Beatty launches new Rail Innovation Centre to drive efficiency and safety on the rail network
28 June 2018
Balfour Beatty, the international infrastructure group, today launched its new Rail Innovation Centre at its Raynesway facility in Derby in the presence of leading rail industry figures, academics and media commentators.
The purpose built Rail Innovation Centre is a dedicated research, development and testing facility covering over 450 Sqm to support Balfour Beatty’s contribution to the development of the digital railway for a more reliable, cost efficient and safe railway network for all users across the UK and overseas.
The new Rail Innovation Centre will bring together Balfour Beatty’s expertise in systems engineering, computer science, robotics, data analytics, electronics and electrical & mechanical engineering, and in combination with our York and Matlock offices will employ over 150 leading technicians, engineers, data scientists and developers with expertise and knowledge of the design, operation and maintenance of the railway.
The new Rail Innovation Centre will be home to the latest developments in measurement systems, ‘predict & prevent’ technology, signalling and data science. Balfour Beatty’s industry leading products and software include TrueTrak™, OmniVision®, OmniSurveyor3D®, OmniCapture3D™, DataMap™ and AssetView™.
These technologies build on established systems and are the latest developments in artificial intelligence including; ‘machine learning’ & ‘machine vision’ systems, the application of robot testing which will enable remote, unattended and high-speed testing of the rail infrastructure in a safe and controlled environment. Specific benefits include better insight into the operations and performance of key railway assets, optimised maintenance and renewal strategies and enhanced safety.
Opening the Rail Innovation Centre Mark Bullock, Balfour Beatty’s Chief Executive Officer for Rail and Utilities, said, “Digital technologies are rapidly changing the rail industry, bringing new efficiencies and presenting new opportunities. The Rail Innovation Centre is at the heart of Balfour Beatty’s technology offering with the specific purpose of driving efficiencies and safety across the rail network for those who work on the railway and ultimately the travelling public.”
The Rail Innovation Centre will develop high value jobs across a range of disciplines and will allow Balfour Beatty to maintain and grow its graduate and technical schemes to develop the next generation of rail engineers. We expect to initially employ four graduates, five apprentices and three trainees in the Rail Innovation Centre.
The new facility will also enable collaboration and knowledge sharing with a range of stakeholders and industry partners, the strengthening of Balfour Beatty’s relationships with the data science community and further mutually beneficial links with universities.
Image: Balfour Beatty's robotic testing rig
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Notes to editors:
- Balfour Beatty (balfourbeatty.com) is a leading international infrastructure group. With 28,000 employees, we provide innovative and efficient infrastructure that underpins our daily lives, supports communities and enables economic growth. We finance, develop, build and maintain complex infrastructure such as transportation, power and utility systems, social and commercial buildings.
- Our main geographies are the UK & Ireland, US and Far East. Over the last 100 years we have created iconic buildings and infrastructure all over the world including the London Olympics’ Aquatic Centre, Hong Kong’s first Zero Carbon building, the National Museum of the Marine Corps in the US and the Channel Tunnel Rail Link.
- Balfour Beatty is one of the UK’s leading rail infrastructure suppliers. From feasibility studies, planning and design through to implementation and asset management, we provide multi-disciplinary rail infrastructure services across the lifecycle of rail assets. Our expertise covers electrification, track, power, civils, specialist rail plant, railway systems and technologies.
- Balfour Beatty also provides a comprehensive range of on-track machines for track geometry improvements and general track works. Our fleet of modern ‘Tampers’ consist of plain line machines and switches & crossing units. Along with our expert operators and support staff these machines ensure outstanding track quality for our customers.
- Balfour Beatty’s current portfolio of rail projects includes the £170 million Track Partnership for London Underground, the £220 million project for track re-modelling of London Bridge and Crossrail projects including the £130 million Abbey Wood station, the £110 million Whitechapel station and the £70 million station at Woolwich. Its most recent contract awards are for the supply, operation and maintenance of ‘On Track Machines’ or ‘Tampers worth £115 million for Network Rail; and, the operation and maintenance of Network Rail’s fleet of track maintenance machines, known as ‘Stoneblowers’ for more than £40 million; and, the five-year ‘Reactive Building and Civils Contract’ by Network Rail worth up to £50 million over a five-year period for the reactive aspect of the contract.
- Balfour Beatty’s Rail Innovation Centre is a purpose built facility in Derby that employs, in combination with our York and Matlock offices, over 150 of the industry’s leading technical experts and engineers dedicated to research, development and testing the latest, ground-breaking technologies and working practices in the UK and overseas. These include High Speed Measurement Systems and Automated Inspection and Monitoring Systems which enable track maintenance to be done on passenger trains at high speed, allowing early fault detection and significantly reducing costs.
- Omnicom Balfour Beatty (omnicombalfourbeatty.com) provides a complete range of infrastructure monitoring solutions; these range from trackside, dedicated monitoring trains, RRVs, to the state of the art in service train solutions. Omnicom Balfour Beatty’s software solutions complement our hardware products and are compatible with other third-party systems and provide infrastructure owners, maintainers and operators with information to help create informed decisions in real-time or for long terms strategic planning.