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Balfour Beatty launches new Rail Innovation Centre to advance digital railway

Infrastructure group Balfour Beatty has opened a new rail innovation centre in Derby today.

The Raynesway facility in Derbyshire, in combination with offices at York and Matlock, will employ over 150 staff members with expertise and knowledge of the design, operation and maintenance of the development of the digital railway.

The new centre will be home to the latest developments in measurements systems, ‘predict & prevent’ technology, signalling, and data science.

These technologies build on established systems, and are the latest developments in artificial intelligence: including machine learning & machine vision systems and the application of robot testing, which will enable remote, unattended and high-speed testing of the rail infrastructure in a safe and controlled environment.

High value jobs across a range of disciplines will be created and Balfour Beatty aim to grow its graduate and technical schemes in the 450sqm centre.

Balfour Beatty are expecting to initially employ four graduates, five apprentices, and three trainees in the centre. “The new facility will also enable collaboration and knowledge sharing with a range of stakeholders and industry partners, the strengthening of Balfour Beatty’s relationships with the data science community and further mutually beneficial links with universities,” the company said.

Specific benefits include better insight into the operations and performance of key railway assets, optimised maintenance and renewal strategies and enhanced safety.

Managing director of Group Digital Railway David Waboso spoke to RTM’s Luana Salles about the deliverance of digital railway for the future in this month’s edition of Rail Technology Magazine.

Mark Bullock, Balfour Beatty’s chief executive officer for rail and utilities, said: “Digital technologies are rapidly changing the rail industry, bringing new efficiencies and presenting new opportunities.

“The Rail Innovation Centre is at the heart of Balfour Beatty’s technology offering with the specific purpose of driving efficiencies and safety across the rail network for those who work on the railway and ultimately the travelling public.”

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Image credit: Balfour Beatty


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