As a consequence of the European Legislation, Infrastructure Managers and Railway Undertakings had to adopt a more business-like attitude: their management focus has shifted from technical approach towards costs and performance.
For many European Infrastructure Managers, this development led to a situation where stakeholders (such as the government and local authorities, the train operators and the public) started to impose more severe requirements with respect to performance and costs, forcing the infrastructure managers to perform new and transparent trade-offs to be able to make the right decisions.
That alternative way of managing infrastructure is called ‘asset management’.
Asset management comprises all systems, methods, procedures and tools to optimize costs, performance and risks for the complete rail infrastructure life cycle. The aim is to realize the best ‘value for money’. These optimizations shall address all infrastructure activities (building, maintenance and renewal, including machines and materials) over the whole life cycle as well as the consequences of these activities for the government as owner and for the train operators and passengers as users.
Asset management should consider the following:
- Company mission, its shared values, leadership and communication.
- Information management and knowledge management: direct access to all relevant data, at the correct level of integration, in the correct format.
- Risk awareness: performing risk analyses and evaluating results shall be a standard practice as part of the decision-making process.
- Long-term vision: taking long-term effects into account when making short-term decisions (Life Cycle Cost Analyses),
- Adequate instruments: object registration, risk analyses methods, maintenance concepts, work planning, control, infra condition measuring & monitoring and the filing of asset maintenance history and asset status history.
Main activities of the UIC Asset Management Working Group
- Common view on understanding of what is asset management.
- Standard: Publicly Available Specification (PAS) 55, which sets out the principles of asset management.
- “Methods and instruments to manage life cycle costs” and “methods and instruments to manage risk”.
- Asset information and asset registers - “structure, level of detail of an adequate and flexible AM register/database”.
- Use of a Geographical Information System as the main way of accessing asset information.
- Exchange of best practice in AM organization (process).
- Exchange of best practice in AM methods, techniques and instruments.
- State of the art in Asset Management outside Rail Infrastructure.
- What is the value of Risk- and Life Cycle Cost management for AM.
- Define/classification of lines in terms of functionality and quality.
- Processes (tactical, realization on medium term):
- Framework for a AM decision making process; standards or structures for an effective AM-approach/AM-process.
- Method(s) to manage explicitly the relation between costs, income and performance.
- How to create best value for money.
- How to measure performance and quality.
- Execution of benchmarks: costs (=LICB), performance and organisation quality.
- Overview and definitions of effective Kpi’s related to the IM-business (costs, availability, safety, ...).
- Methods and instrument(s) to manage Life Cycle Costs.
- Methods and instrument(s) to manage Risk.
To provide IM members of the UIC with the necessary instruments/tools to develop their own Asset Management Plan to optimise the level of performance with the minimum LCC in a homogeneous way.
To provide IM members of the UIC with a vision on AM in general and specific tools to create best value for money for the stakeholders. It is a platform to exchange best practice.
Senior advisor - Rail System