It’s great to be back in Paris for SmartMetro 2018, and although the city may be the same, this year we have put down some new, albeit temporary roots, in an entirely new venue: the Le Méridien Etoile. Also new this year, SmartRail World has linked up with two of the largest rail operators in the France, the Capital’s operator Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens (RATP) and France’s state operator, SNCF, both of which offered fantastic visits of some of their sites. They provided participants with front-row seats to the latest network developments and we’ve had some great feedback from those that were lucky enough to take part. We would like to extend our gratitude to RATP And SNCF for opening their doors. For the show itself, Dave Songer, editor of SmartRail World was in attendance the next day in and he provides a summary of what he saw and heard and the sixexpert insights that he wanted to share.
Following on from the always popular workshop day, Day Two of SmartMetro began in earnest with a C-level keynote session that took on the challenge of defining the role of urban rail in the changing mobility landscape. That major topic was ably taken on by leading figures of SNCF, RATP, Keolis Group, Bombardier Transportation, Lisbon Metro and Uber, and the seven-strong group discussed the growing challenge posed by the rapid urbanisation of cities – offering solutions to the population spikes that result in more and more overcrowding on transport infrastructure of all kinds, not just rail. The panel discussion that followed built on this ever-evolving issue and looked at the widening skills gap, ageing workforce and the strategies in place to encourage more women into the rail industry. Also included in the packed morning agenda, Chris Moore, the transport planning manager from the yet-to-be-built cross-London network, Crossrail 2, showed the value of developing a transport-orientated strategy to city planning, while Dublin MetroLink presented a case study of what it offers the city.
After lunch the day was divided up across three different streams Signalling Systems (Room 1), Assets and Digitisation (Room 2) and Operational Excellence and Smart Mobility (Room 3). Railway Gazette’s editor, Chris Jackson, headed up the first room, moderating speakers that included Ann Camilla Larsen from S-Bane, Denmark’s operator, and Paul-Edouard Basses from Siemens, on establishing effective coordination between systems integrator and operator, and sustainable innovations for renovation and new line projects, respectively.
David Price from Transport for London and Ian Wright looked after proceedings in the other two rooms. Rishi Dutta, fresh from his recent 5 Minutes With…, explained to the audience in Room 2 on what can be done with the huge amounts of data generated by transport operators. Rishi works for Public Transport Victoria and he revealed the technology that Australia’s most densely-populated state uses to capturing and analysing data in real-time and how, with data, operators can be more nimble and react more quickly to incidents. Meanwhile, in Room 3 representing Malaysia, Noormah Mohd Noor spoke about the strategies she employs on the Klia Express to increase ridership and revenue, with one such approach relating to how it spikes revenue through innovations in marketing and ticketing.
With so many wonderful speakers across three rooms, I wasn’t able to see all the speakers, sadly, but I have compiled sixof the insights, thoughts and predictions that grabbed my attention. I would like to extend my gratitude to everyone that took part… see you tomorrow with another review and six more.
"It's not enough to get the right data, we need to get the right data to the right people at the right time. Our data management tool has been in place for a year and we can see a number of benefits such as automated analysis, data-driven maintenance, knowledge sharing and more users."
Ian Thompson, Systems Engineer, Transport for London
"We're learning from Crossrail 1 all the time. It's worth saying though that the overrun is relatively modest and when it does enter operation will deliver much for the city and the country as a whole. We're leaving no stone unturned."
Chris Moores, Transport Planning Manager, Crossrail 2
Peter Walsh, Director, Capital Infrastructure Management, Transport Infrastructure Ireland
"Getting the staff to 'accept' the new signalling system is in service is always a challenge. It's no longer just a project. One of the ways of doing this is to make it visible exactly who is responsible for what."
Ann Camilla Larsen, Project Leader Signal Programme, S-Bane
"Artificial intelligence is being developed for maintenance, such as our latest radio systems which use machine learning to adapt and identify threats before they become a problem."
Paul-Edouard Basse, Key Account Manager, Siemens
Stéphane Callet, Senior System Engineer and Project Manager, SNCF