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"Having the data available for the stakeholders and team members of any project is critical"

Interview with Steve Cokerell, Bentley Systems' Industry Marketing Director for Rail

Published: 24/10/2018

Country: United Kingdom

Steve Cockerell is Bentley's Systems Industry Marketing Director for Rail, currently based in the UK. He works with the end users, helping them to extract the most valuable of their asses and providing the best support with digital procedures. The main goal is to lower the client's risks and improve their profitability.

Working with a located, referenced and available data

Having the data (especially data that you can trust) available for the stakeholders and team members is critical, stated Cockerell. To achieve that, Bentley Systems provides powerful solutions for the Rail field like a connected data environment (Open Rail CDE). BIM, now implemented throughout all the industry, has generated new discussions about what a common data environment is. Nowadays, Bentley Systems provides this CDE for their clients, taking into consideration the multiples challenges the future has brought. Big Data or Internet of Things, will become a requirement to be able to access a source of information that we never thought about before. Therefore, this Open Rail CDE is going to be to provide that as a service.

Solutions for an Open Rail CDE

Open Rail Designer Connect Edition within the Bentley Systems' Open Rail Solution introduced earlier in 2018. It aims to become the successor to the industry standard in many countries and organizations for the 3D geometric design of railway tracks and civils existing below the railway line. 

As Cockerell explained, "it could be a worthy successor to Bentley Systems empower rail track." It helps the users to create new track alignments or understand the geometry that exists in their existing alignments. This information could come from a survey or a reality modeling and context capture and placing the switches and the turnouts to the required level of accuracy. 

The Open Rail Designer enables to do it faster and more efficiently. It also explores more options to find the optimal design, but at the same time, it takes this design further into the digital construction, and then, through our connected data environment. Then, this information will be handed over into operations so there can be leveraged in operations a maintenance scenario to deliver insight and improve collaboration.

What advantages will bring the Legion acquisition 

During The Year in Infrastructure 2018 Conference, Bentley Systems announced the acquisition of leading pedestrian simulation software provider LEGION, based in London and supporting more than half of the world’s 40 largest transit agencies.  The acquisition augments Bentley Systems’ comprehensive modeling environment with collaborative digital workflows to explore and validate comparative simulations of pedestrian traffic scenarios.

Regarding this announcement, Cockerell highlighted that, beyond obvious technical advantages that provide, "it's very cool". It's interesting, communicative and visual and could be a powerful ally to attract young people into the rail industry. On a technical level will allow the users to be they owner-operators of a railway station or an organization designing new stations on perhaps new lines and new high-speed lines. Legion will allow to optimize the design of the infrastructure and ensure that not only it's fit for purpose but also the owner to look at how they might optimize the space from a retail standpoint.

Nowadays, more and more railways stations or airports they have retail zones. Through the algorithms, Legion allows looking at where there are more people traveling through a piece of infrastructure and the routes they're taking and map that.

Could Legion be integrated with other Bentley Systems' solutions like the Open Buildings Station?

During The Year in Infrastructure Conference, Bentley Systems introduced the Open Building Station Designer. It is a superset of a product that has been used worldwide for building design and analysis. It allows designers to go from a conceptual design of a building all the way through the detailed design and to simulate the performance of a building. 

Adding that superset of tools and components that are tuned to a station or a rail environment, for example, turnstiles and ticketing halls with all the passengers allows moving through this whole area. This is really key and links to the simulation capabilities that are in Legion. Part of the Legion capabilities is not only looking at the movement of people and in relation to each other and in relation to the infrastructure. It's also able to look at how, for example, a change to a timetable might impact and how that station performs. So, if the client has a special event, it is important to know how this increased number of people will be able to move both efficiently and safely through the infrastructure. Bringing the tools from Open Building Station Designer and Legion's pedestrian modeling and analysis tools together provide the perfect relationship to ensure that in new infrastructure scenarios that it's fit for purpose on day one, but also in an operational environment. 

Bentley Systems has positioned himself as a leading global provider of comprehensive software solutions for advancing the design, construction and operations of infrastructure. On October 15-18 they hosted a new edition of The Year in Infrastructure 2018 Conference in London. The event aimed to bring together the best infrastructure projects worldwide, and share innovative practices in infrastructure project design, engineering, construction, and operations.

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