Helping rail operators use AI to thrive in an ever-changing landscape

Posted: 18 May 2022 | , | No comments yet

Alexandre Savard, GIRO’s Director of Business Development for Rail, speaks with Global Railway Review’s Editor, Craig Waters, about how AI-powered software can help rail operators not just survive but thrive in the ever-changing rail landscape.

There has been a two-year global pandemic. There has been sweeping rail reform. Decarbonisation. Multiplying modes of transport. And Urban sprawl. The passenger rail industry is most certainly one that is ‘in transformation’.

Passenger rail operators are used to having to adapt, but the mobility landscape is changing at a pace like never seen before. So how can operators respond in more dynamic and flexible ways of working for service, maintenance, and workforce planning?

“What is new is the pace of change – and the impacts these changes are having on how organisations plan and operate passenger rail,” explains Alexandre Savard, Director of Business Development for Rail at GIRO – the company behind the well-known HASTUS software. “Many operators are struggling to plan for the right services because ridership models from the past are less relevant today. So, they need to be more flexible in the way they plan and operate services. And they need to update timetables more frequently. With the digitalisation of processes, operators are now increasingly using integrated software solutions like HASTUS, which has powerful algorithms to optimise all aspects of timetabling, rolling stock planning and workforce scheduling – from the long-term to the day of operations. It also provides all teams with a 360° view of all these critical moving parts of a railway operation.”

Transformation for any business is always going to be a challenge. But how can a rail operator who thinks modernising their resource management processes is a daunting process, be put at ease? “Our main recommendation to the industry is to embrace a more holistic approach for service planning and resource management while empowering the workforce with tools to break down silos and find the best solutions in their situation,” explains Alexandre. “With the support of AI and optimisation technologies, operators and authorities can focus on balancing passenger needs with resource constraints on a continuous basis. And they can do so without any compromises on safety, regulation compliance and other business requirements.”

All this and much more was discussed in the video interview. Watch above or on the Global Railway Review YouTube channel link now to learn more.

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