One of the UK’s leading multi-disciplinary railway infrastructure contractors, VolkerRail, has invested in an integrated mobile platform to streamline project deliveries, enable better-informed decision-making, and drive continuous improvement.

The solution – powered by Leeds-headquartered eviFile – enabled VolkerRail to capture thousands of geolocated data-points throughout the delivery of a 10-month project for Chiltern Railways, saving an average of one day a week.

Forming part of the ‘Tomorrow Now’ digital transformation and innovation programme driven by VolkerRail’s parent company, VolkerWessels UK, eviFile was brought in to help alleviate the firm’s reliance on email and paper-based storage systems, with the introduction of a digitised workflow solution.

Elaborating on the project background, eviFile’s managing director, Luke Allen, explained: “VolkerRail continues to deliver several multi-million-pound contracts, and after each successful project, looks at new ways to help its teams become more efficient whilst also offering more to its clients.

“We conducted workshops with managers, engineers, and site workers to ensure the solution met their needs – applying an agile development methodology and creating prototypes for review and refinement in line with feedback received.

“I hope the solution speaks for itself, providing robust data collection, seamless connectivity between sites and offices, availability of real-time progress data, reductions in paper and travel requirements, and ease of bottom-up adoption.”

The initial pilot project was to capture survey information relating to train protection and warning systems (TPWS), cable routes, signal wiring and access points. Configured to provide a range of custom reports in real-time, the interface allows users to monitor overall survey progress as well as the status of individual data collection processes.

Ed Arnold, head of project controls at VolkerRail added: “We are a company which is built around its people, and we believe digital is more about people than technology. Our aim, as part of our ‘Tomorrow Now’ transformation is to give our teams the awareness, culture, and ability to adopt technology, to help us automate or do regular tasks faster.

“While working on a project for Chiltern Railways, we needed an information capture and progressive assurance tool to help manage site-based activities.

“Looking ahead, we’re keen to explore the potential to expand survey data to cover installation tracking, quality assurance, virtual snagging and hand-back – as well as integration into our Common Data Environment (CDE).”

eviFile’s growing presence in the marketplace, as an agile digitised workflow solution is already having a positive impact on overhead projects in rail, critical infrastructure pipelines, and non-destructive testing in the power sector for major contractors and service providers such as Network Rail, SPL, United Utilities, and Drax.