The UIC working group on Asset Management, chaired by Antonie Bauer from ProRail, organised a workshop at UIC on 27 October. 60 participants from Europe and beyond met to learn about the state of the art in Asset Management (AM) and share railway sector best practices.
David Mc Keown, Chief Executive of the Institute of Asset Management (IAM), provided valuable tips to railway asset managers:
- think ahead
- AM is not about IT tools but about strategic decisions supported at board level
- AM is essentially about “good management” and maintaining a “line of sight”
The IAM (a not for profit organisation aiming to be “the voice of AM”) is supporting individuals and corporations in their approach to AM.
The UIC is aiming to be recognised by IAM as the railway sector representative in the field of Asset Management. It is planned that a Memorandum of Understanding be signed between IAM and UIC in the near future.
After a general presentation by Andrew Kirwan from Network Rail on the “AM Framework” - a railway reference document developed by the UIC working group based on the IAM PAS 55 - several “best practice” presentations were given by railway members, such as:
- integration of the PAS 55 and the railway-specific version “UIC AM Framework” at ProRail
- the SBB AM approach with differentiation of lines in 3 levels
- the RFI advanced database and IT AM approach
Interesting questions were raised during presentations and debates showing that AM is strategic matter. The “Triangle of Asset Management” as presented by Dominique Gardin, Infrabel, and Mikael Gesquières, RFF, from the “line comparison study” carried out by UIC, shows the differences in mapping between a classical static solution (pink triangle) and a dynamic optimised AM model (green triangle).
In spite of difficulties mainly due to data harmonisation, which are to be expected in benchmarking, the international comparison specifically allows those good practices to be shared which are most profitable to railways asset managers. The methodology was recently updated and the LICB working group’s intention is to enlarge the scope to Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia as requested by a Korean participant. In the future, it is also foreseen that qualitative criteria be included.
The Office of Railway Regulation in the UK has been using the LICB study since 2006 to conduct economic forecasts using the econometric methodology – a necessity according to Giancarlo Scarsi due to the fact that the ORR is 100% domestic and needs to compare itself with others –
Over the years, they have noticed a narrowing in the gap between the most and the least efficient railways.
In conclusion, the Chairman reminded participants that other sectors had a far more professional approach to AM than railways. At the same time, IAM underlined remarkable efforts made by railways, and the ORR mentioned that it was more advanced than the energy sector. Nonetheless, railways showed a great deal of improvement potential. The development of functional requirements for AM related IT tools, for instance, appeared as an absolute necessity.
On the same note, in 2011 UIC will offer all its members a training session on AM in co-operation with IAM as well as a seminar specifically for the Asian Region in Seoul, Korea by the End of 2011.