Digital maintenance monitoring system for French railway 13 November 2020

SNCF Réseau, the service provider that manages railway infrastructure in France, in partnership with consultancy Capgemini, is deploying an innovative application to optimize the supervision of its rail network in order to increase its performance and meet the growing demand for mobility.

Thanks to this digital solution, SNCF Réseau’s teams in charge of the maintenance of over 30,000km of track, are alerted and activated in real time using a mobile application that geolocates precisely any incidents on the network. The tool will help to improve the regularity of traffic flows, as well as passenger information.

The railway network is now remotely monitored and supervised to detect any technical failures in the tracks, signalling, catenaries, level crossings or switches. Different systems work together to detect anomalies and warn maintenance staff, enabling installations to be restored as quickly as possible.

SNCF Réseau, in collaboration with Capgemini, initiated the overhaul of its supervision application. The result, called ‘New Generation Supervision’ is an innovative application in service since 1 July 2020 in the Auvergne Rhône-Alpes region. This new tool will be progressively implemented in other regions between 2021 and 2022.

In the event of a hazard, the application makes it possible, for example, to communicate in real time, data relating to the maintenance operation concerned (travel times, arrival times on site, response times, etc.). This data is instantly accessible to rail operators, who can then provide passengers with the best possible, most up to date information.

With this unique tool, common to the four supervision centres across the country, and capable of managing alerts from various sources, it will be possible to build a vision of corrective and conditional maintenance needs on a national scale. Ultimately, all the data from human monitoring, remote monitoring and monitoring trains will be sent back to the supervision centres, where it will be collated and centralized. More broadly, the aim is to establish a comprehensive information system on the state of rail infrastructure and to assist in decision-making for appropriate maintenance.

The application enables SNCF Réseau agents to:

  • Localise incidents on a dynamic map that displays infrastructure data
  • Identify the right person to contact to carry out maintenance according to the route, the time of day and the specialism concerned (electricity, mechanics, etc.)
  • Guide maintenance staff precisely to the site of the incident. They can then communicate directly with the centre to share their findings and estimate their incident resolution time
  • Generate and manage digital intervention reports directly in the mobile application.

Since its launch in 2017, Capgemini team members have been designing and deploying end-to-end digital solutions that are based on its expertise in software engineering, supervision, IoT, digital transformation, mobility, and augmented operations. The first tests of advanced processing of monitoring data on the Lyon-Marseille axis were successful thanks to the use of software that analyses in detail the history of failures and the state of the installations in order to anticipate and carry out a conditional maintenance operation prior to the incident.

“The deployment of New Generation Supervision, thanks to our partner Capgemini, will make it possible to improve not only the handling of incidents, and therefore the regularity of traffic, but also passenger information. Overall, we are going to move from very systematic maintenance to maintenance that is closer to needs, more precise and in real time: network maintenance at the right time and in the right place. It's another step towards a high-performance network,” states Olivier Bancel, deputy director general production, SNCF Réseau.

Operations Engineer

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