AUCKLAND, New Zealand, Aug. 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) and KiwiRail today announced a three-million dollar (NZD) partnership to provide KiwiRail Network with the software and services designed to improve visibility and management of its tracks, bridges and other network assets to improve the speed, safety, and reliability of its rail service.
KiwiRail is committed to being an integrated part of New Zealand's transport system, focusing on those areas where rail has a natural strength such as the movement of bulk commodities, import-export goods and long distance containerised traffic. The Ministry of Transport predicts freight volumes will grow by 75 percent over the next 20 years and KiwiRail needs to invest in its infrastructure to ensure rail can shoulder its share of that traffic.
Maximo, IBM's enterprise asset management solution, will help KiwiRail Network improve the management of its assets by delivering information on the condition of the 4,000 kms of railway track, bridges and thousands of pieces of rail equipment as well as the signals that control the safe movement of trains around New Zealand.
This will help KiwiRail maintenance crews to have access to up-to-date information of their assets, job plans, work-order tracking, and service requests across the lines. Having visibility of its assets can help KiwiRail deliver better preventative maintenance and speed repairs before they impact operations.
"Our rail network needs to be updated with 21st Century technology to create a more economically vibrant transport system for New Zealand," said Rick van Barneveld, General Manager, KiwiRail Network. "Advanced business analytics will provide proactive, accurate analysis and reporting of network assets in real-time to help us manage our resources efficiently."
Over the next year, IBM Global Business Services will apply IBM Maximo enterprise asset management and IBM Cognos business analytics software to increase the visibility of information and improve the manageability and efficiency of its network assets.
"IBM's software and services will help KiwiRail improve how it manages the assets which make up its rail network, to improve the speed, safety and reliability of its rail service," said Phill Patton, General Manager Sales, IBM New Zealand.
"With rising fuel prices and congestion on the roadways, railroads have emerged as a fuel- and cost-efficient means of moving goods and people," said Keith Dierkx, Director, IBM Global Rail Innovation Centre.
IBM has partnered with local New Zealand business partners, Certus Solutions and Cortell to provide this solution to KiwiRail.
IBM is using its Travel and Transportation Framework to implement similar smarter rail systems around the world. For example, Netherlands Railways, one of the busiest networks in Europe, uses advanced optimisation software from IBM to weigh more than 50,000 variables, including the railroad's infrastructure and passenger demand, to assemble and schedule more than 5,000 trains per day, improving operating efficiency by 6 percent with an estimated annual savings of 20 million euros.
The contract between IBM and KiwiRail was signed in June 2010.
For more information about KiwiRail, visit http://www.kiwirail.co.nz.
IBM has been working in the rail industry for more than 50 years and has more than 100 rail clients. IBM operates a Global Rail Innovation Centre to bring together rail industry leaders in an effort to build smarter rail networks.
For more information about IBM's Smarter Planet vision, visit
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An IBM video on smarter rail is available on You Tube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltYl3NZBun4