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A framework for Whole System Decision-Making

Ed. no.1| April 2024
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Railways across the world are undergoing dramatic change. New technologies are being adopted to increase capacity and capability. Digitalisation is transforming how assets and operations are managed. The drive for sustainability is pushing more users onto railways and presenting challenges to decarbonise. Yet most railway organisations still make decisions based on traditional views of asset disciplines, such as track and rolling stock, and work types, such as maintenance and renewals. The challenge facing the sector today is to transition the supporting business functions to a system-of-systems approach, in which the railway is viewed as one interconnected system.

The development of a comprehensive whole-system decision-making framework (WiSDoM) for railways, by the UIC, represents a significant leap forward in enhanced planning, efficient resource utilisation, stronger investment justifications, and improved outcomes for stakeholders. By dismantling institutionalised silos and embracing a whole-system decision-making approach, railway companies can modernise their business processes alongside their assets and operations. This approach is supported by a Value Framework, building factors such as sustainability into decisions to drive optimal outcomes for society alongside customers and other stakeholders. It opens up the potential for increasing digitalisation and for technology to transform internal processes. Although embarking on such a radical change is undoubtedly daunting, it is essential for the future success of the rail industry.

At the core of this transformation is the WiSDoM project, a major endeavour that empowers railway organisations to optimise decisions. It addresses various asset disciplines such as track, signalling, and structures, alongside different intervention types, including operations, maintenance, renewal, and enhancements, and promotes harmonious management and operation of the entire infrastructure. The primary objective of this project is to establish a practical and integrated decision-making process throughout the railway industry, with a dedicated focus on delivering value to customers and wider society. Building upon previous UIC guidance on railway asset management frameworks, this project aids infrastructure managers in interpreting and implementing best practices in asset management principles.

Author UIC
ISBN 978-2-7461-3387-7
Pages 56

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Ed. no.1
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Infrastructure Infrastructure