Network Rail and SBB signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), marking the first step by Network Rail to strengthen ties with international railway operators, sharing knowledge and best practice.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be among the technologies that the two railway companies will be working on as part of an agreement signed on 24th of July.
It is part of Network Rail’s newly formed International Research & Development partnership programme (IRDPP), which aims to deliver and develop technology to improve safety and deliver a network fit for passengers and freight customers. It will initially look at AI technology for use in inspections of steel bridges and track, specifically switch and crosses, and light-rail remote condition monitoring.
The agreement signed by Network Rail and SBB is a “a major step for us as an organisation, partnering with the international rail community, to share experiences in operating a railway. Looking at what works and what doesn’t, will, help us shape and develop innovative technology that will go towards modernising the railway,” Robert Ampomah, Network Rail’s Chief Technology Officer said.
“It has been fundamental to us as an organisation to continue to look forward in terms of sharing best practices and advances in applied research and development. By jointly improving our operational excellence we strive for the best returns for our passengers and customers. The signing of the MoU with Network Rail (NR) is one giant step in keeping the momentum moving in the right direction. We welcome the opportunity to collaboratively work with Network Rail and to share the positive outcomes this will bring,” Roland Mosner, SBB’s Head of Technology, said.
Projects developed as part of IRDPP will be jointly funded with the responsibility for resources, testing capabilities, and best practices shared between both parties, initially in the form of workshops both in person and online.