Rail technology advances in the past 20 years

Over the years, there has been a significant shift away from physical servers to cloud-based software, transforming the landscape of software development. Gone are the days of systems being confined to being hosted on servers at specific business locations.  

Cloud technology has opened a whole new world when it comes to increasing flexibility and efficiency of data across many disciplines, thanks to its ability to be accessed from everywhere and anywhere.  

This transition has brought about substantial cost savings by eliminating the need for physical infrastructure such as machines, server rooms, server maintenance etc. There is also no need for time and resource being spent setting up these physical servers. 

In the early days, rail software was only ever accessible on-site, meaning there was no flexibility as to how people and businesses could work.  There has been a gradual shift away from this way of working to a more mobile and flexible approach based on new programming languages and improved internet services. Thanks to cloud technology, people can now access data remotely. 

Nowadays, there’s an expectation for software to be accessible anytime, anywhere, driving the necessity for products to be tailored to this demand. Cloud computing and emerging programming languages facilitate faster turnaround times, cost savings, and greater flexibility for all stakeholders involved. 

At RTS, we now see vastly reduced downtimes thanks to these digital advancements. Updates can now be swiftly carried out remotely, eliminating the need to send updates or software packages to clients to test and implement. 

RTS technology changes over the years 

RTS has always been at the forefront of the latest technological changes, and a lot has changed internally regarding product development over the past 20 years. Established in the year 2000, RTS embarked on a mission to revolutionise the rail industry’s response to incidents within the infrastructure space.  

Prior to our inception, incident management relied heavily on manual processes, involving numerous phone calls and email ‘tickets’ being raised. Since then, we have been dedicated to pioneering innovative solutions that streamline operations and enhance safety protocols within the rail sector. Here’s a chronological journey through our key milestones and transformative innovations. 

2000 – the beginning  

RTS was established in 2000 to help rail clients better manage and respond to incidents occurring within rail infrastructure. Our objective was to provide an industry-wide one-stop solution for railways in the UK.  

2004 – Fault Management System 

We introduced a fault management system to enhance infrastructure owners’ and contractors’ workflows and audit capabilities by providing detailed fault management information. 

2014 – safe system of working  

In 2014, we developed the Safe System of Working (SSOWP) to automate planning, reducing risks of unavoidable hazards at work by guiding maintenance planners through safety protocols designed by industry health and safety experts. 

2015 – Work and Resource Management  

Historically, staff endured cumbersome processes for task sign-off and reporting additional work or issues during shifts, We launched an enhanced work order management system which automates work order creation, offers calendar-based work order planning, and intelligent work rostering based on individual availability, skills, and route knowledge. 

Asset Management & Visualisation System 

With a strong reputation in supporting railway infrastructure contractors nationwide, we’ve since developed a range of products from resource and asset management to system integrations, aiding in the detailed design, construction, commissioning, and maintenance phases of the modern rail industry. 

In the past, managing machinery was an inefficient process. Our asset management system is transforming plant asset maintenance by centralising detailed records and schedules, enabling real-time fault reporting and management from a single source, accessible via tablet or mobile devices.  

2021 – virtual working & the pandemic: mobile product access on the go  

Industry challenges in 2021 highlighted the need to record data in real-time. The RTS mobile product was developed to allow easy access and use via a mobile app. Providing a holistic view of information and real-time data, it integrates with our work and resource management products so that users can leave paper work packs behind and access live information on the go.  

For a more detailed breakdown of RTS’ history, take a look at our timeline. Or to find out how our rail technology can help your business contact us today.