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Case studies

Major Periodic Maintenance and Renewal Planning

Data driven asset renewal plans by integrating asset condition data of disparate sources
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Devising long term Asset Renewal Plans with Asset Health Indicators

Major Periodic Maintenance and Renewal Planning


Powerful insights can be gained from railway condition data.  Traditional asset renewal strategies are often time-based and developed without leveraging the full capability of this data.  

Developing data driven asset renewal strategies, improves the accuracy of asset and risk management practices by ensuring assets are renewed at optimal points in time.


A major rail network owner in Australia required an optimised 10-year renewals program that harnessed the available condition data. Engineering and analytics experience was required to further develop an existing plan for major periodic maintenance by integrating asset condition data from a variety of disparate sources.


Silver Edge were engaged to deliver an optimised 10-year renewals program.  Our approach involved analysing data from numerous sources by building a linear model of the network and aligning condition data such as track geometry and rail profile, to this model. Using our experience in practical application of asset management, we proposed and developed track health indexes which were visualised alongside condition data in an interactive dashboard.


Our engineers undertook field inspections of critical assets and locations.  Resulting inspection data and information from the dashboard was used to identify and prioritise locations for future maintenance.  From this we planned and scoped major renewals and routine maintenance at these locations, leveraging our domain expertise in track maintenance delivery.

Final program of works delivered by Silver Edge included optimisations to maintenance and renewal programs for asset classes including rail, ballast, formation, level crossings, sleepers, insulated rail joints and turnouts.


An optimised, data-driven long-term asset renewal plan delivers ongoing value to asset owners including:

  • Improved insight into asset performance and condition with interactive dashboards

  • Efficient, targeted inspection of assets, planned according to asset health indexes and condition data

  • Increased confidence in maintenance budgeting and resource allocation through fact-based planning

  • Greater efficiency in long-term maintenance through standardisation of planned renewal works

  • Improved worker safety through increased utilization of track recording vehicle data and reduced in track hours.

Journey to Asset Digitisation

Developing a Digital Asset Management Maturity Assessment to propose the Digitisation Strategy
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Delivering a roadmap towards a full digital twin solution

Journey to Asset Digitisation


Asset management requires the continuous collection and analysis of data for decision making.  This data is used to understand asset performance, predict future condition and optimise maintenance and renewal requirements, across the asset lifecycle.


By introducing a Digital Asset Management Strategy with real time decisions from intelligent (digitally enabled) infrastructure, commonly used manual and siloed processes can be replaced with technology driven solutions such as condition monitoring, a fault management centre and a Digital Twin.


In Western Australia, a major rail freight asset manager implemented improvement projects to visualise their current assets and asset health from their asset management information, with the aim of moving towards a Digital Twin.

They required a five-year roadmap to enhance their asset information and introduce new technology.

To ensure the roadmap met with the business objectives, an Asset Management Framework and overarching Digitisation Strategy were needed.


At the commencement of the project, Silver Edge met with key stakeholders to understand the customer’s business objectives and drivers for digital transformation.   We developed the Asset Management Framework with the customer, performed our Digital Asset Management Maturity Assessment and proposed the Digitisation Strategy.


The digitisation strategy and roadmap projects were aligned to the Asset Management Framework, ensuring they would meet with the overall business objectives.


Our Approach towards Digital Transformation:

  • Determine existing data and harness its value

  • Introduce new technology with a defined plan for uptake

  • Provide support for the inertia required to change traditional approaches and processes 

  • Develop a roadmap with digitisation projects towards a Digital Twin solution


Throughout the journey to asset digitisation, the following organisational benefits can be achieved: 

  • Real-time asset health status

  • Improved decision making through connectedness of data

  • Optimised and predictive maintenance practices

  • Reduce personnel access to the operating asset, increasing safety

  • Flexibility of operations and agility to adapt to changing market conditions

Track Recording Vehicle from Commissioning to Operational Readiness

Commissioning a critical technology for network inspection and management
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Leadership with domain knowledge to facilitate diagnostic systems compliance

Track Recording Vehicle fom Commissioning to Operational Readiness


Track recording vehicles capture data on the current state of rail assets.  Using laser measurement and vision systems the vehicle automates the inspections and removes the need for inspectors working in the operating rail corridor.  The systems onboard are critical for network operations and need to be tested for Reproducibility and Repeatability, to ensure they are capturing and recording data consistently.


Our urban rail network customer required project management and technical support for the coordination and commissioning of their Track and Overhead Line Recording Vehicle.  The vehicle captures data using 14 different diagnostic systems, including track geometry, rail profile and overhead line wire measurement systems, as well as vision systems, thermal scan inspection system and clearance profile measurement systems.


Silver Edge has drawn on European experience in commissioning diagnostic systems to apply a comprehensive and practical verification and validation approach for the commissioning of the systems based on the ‘V-Model’ to ensure a practical application of each system.

Further to developing the approach for all 14 diagnostic systems Silver Edge advised the customer on Operational Readiness requirements including the development of operational procedures for data handling and defect validation and response.


Throughout the project, Silver Edge provided coordination of all internal stakeholders and the vehicle manufacturer and performed benchmark comparisons against track recording systems used throughout Europe.


A thorough and practical approach to commissioning a track recording vehicle ensures:

  • Systems are validated to meet the network requirements 

  • Data capture is repeatable and reproducible in accordance with Engineering Standards

  • Any observed non-compliances can be raised with the customer and manufacturer for resolution before commissioning

  • The commissioning of systems is documented and formally approved by all internal stakeholders

  • There is a smooth Notification of Change process with ONRSR for the implementation of new systems

  • The business is in an operational readiness stage once systems are commissioned

Predicting Asset Deterioration

Developing a machine learning model to predict future rail wear across the network
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Five-Year Predictive Rail Replacement Modelling

Predicting Asset Deterioration


Railways require ongoing replacement of worn rail at significant cost to the asset owner. Rail profiles are typically measured at regular intervals however this data is often not utilised to its full extent.

Applying rail engineering domain expertise and data science to measurement data, can optimise the replacement cycle and deliver significant savings to asset owners.


A large heavy haul rail network owner in Australia’s North-West required an optimised five-year rail replacement program to plan maintenance and set annual budgets. With significant historical rail profile measurement data at hand, a solution was required which predicted future rail wear across the network.


Silver Edge was engaged to develop a machine learning model to predict rail wear over time. The model processed data including historical rail profile measurements, historical maintenance, future planned works, and engineering standards, to forecast rail deterioration over a five-year period. 

Predictions from the model were utilised by the engineering team to devise a program of works for rail renewals. The resulting program was optimised to consider several business requirements which would increase operational efficiency and reduce annual maintenance budgets.


A condition based, optimised, predictive asset replacement program delivering significant value for asset owners including:

  • Maximising remaining useful life of existing assets through targeted replacement

  • Greater availability of assets through optimal maintenance programs

  • Increased supply chain capacity by reducing unplanned maintenance 

  • Reduction of capital expenditure on asset renewal 

  • Improved worker safety through reduction of in track hours 

Trackworker Safety First

Trackworker Safety First

Leading-edge technology to provide safe and efficient track access, removing people from a position of danger

ZKL3000 Remote Controlled 
Track Circuit Operating Device to take possession remotely


Current projections for a major Australian capital city envisaged an increase in population, with an increase in millions of residents by 2040. Unsurprisingly, with population growth comes increased demand for more flexible, personal train services.

The city’s urban passenger rail network operator recognised that much of its network was already over-capacity, particularly during morning peak and so a program was established to facilitate increased capacity.


This increase in capacity, created an ever-more challenging environment in which to gain safe access to inspect and maintain, meaning that traditional corridor access and worksite protection methods are outdated, inefficient and increasingly unsafe.


The rail operator was looking to successfully source, trial, test and embed new technology for trackworker protection, achieving tangible benefits by seeking new ways of working. Key to their changed approach was to find an innovative, flexible and understanding technology supplier to partner with who also had the ability to break down historical barriers when introducing new technology.

Silver Edge, partnered with Dual Inventive, worked closely with the rail operator to implement the remote-controlled track circuit operating devices from Europe, ZKL3000 RC.  The devices are a proven technology throughout Europe, to realise significant increases in shutdown performance and increase track worker safety.

This technology adoption delivered a step-change to safe-working. To see the true benefits of implementation, change management was crucial. Silver Edge developed a structured approach for engagement, assessment, trialling, training and use, leading to successful implementation within the organisation.


ZKL3000 RC is a SIL-4 rated, remotely-operated, self-monitoring track circuit operating device which simulates a train in the section turning the signal red. Managed by pre-assigned users, the system allows for real-time control and monitoring of devices utilising a smart App.

ZKL3000 RC:

  • Enables quick, safe and efficient access to the infrastructure

  • Removes people from a position of danger whilst putting them in control of their own safety

  • Protection can be taken and handed back in less than 10 seconds, maximising valuable track access time

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