With passenger numbers and goods volumes expected to rise by 30% and 50% respectively by 2030, the Dutch rail network is under significant pressure to expand capacity. But network expansion alone isn’t the answer. National rail infrastructure operator ProRail needs smart, efficient ways to use and maintain the rail network.
Against the backdrop of the energy transition, Royal HaskoningDHV and its partner Lynxx have decided, based on the existing cooperation, to support ProRail to expand the network’s power supply for rail traffic through a data-driven approach.
Royal Haskoning and Lynxx make a strong combination due to the overlap of domain knowledge and data science experience. The only engineering firm among the four contracted operators, Royal HaskoningDHV was selected for its combination of rail industry experience and data science expertise. In addition, Lynxx has extensive experience in applying data science in public transport. Finally, the end-user-focused way of working is also a commonality between the two parties a feature that strengthens the cooperation.
Examples of Royal HaskoningDHV's integrated offering come together in, among other things, the digital twin technology that Royal HaskoningDHV has applied to create a model of the Dutch rail network that maps the current rail infrastructure, stations, and timetables, along with the types of rolling stock used by both ProRail and Dutch rail operators. This lets Royal HaskoningDHV run simulations and test timetable modification scenarios.
Together with ProRail and partners, Lynxx has developed several forecasting models. For example, to estimate the reserves needed to replace rails over 5, 10, and 15 years. Models to predict the failure probability of points and to predict multi-year staffing levels for internal projects are also projects Lynxx is conducting with ProRail.
Electricity network shortages mean that trains’ speeds are restricted across the network – and it’s a problem that’s set to get worse as the demand for energy increases. But by using data analytics, ProRail's PowerAll project will help find smarter ways to use and manage its ageing traction power supply, and simulate the impacts of infrastructure expansion and renovation. Royal HaskoningDHV's first project with Lynxx for ProRail is an electricity analytics project called PowerAll. The project will feed into the wider smart grid discussion in the Netherlands, looking at intelligent ways to handle peak electricity demand from a diverse range of energy consumers.