IBM lands 3 rail software contracts

Posted on October 7, 2009

On Wednesday, IBM announced that the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR), the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) will deploy IBM software to manage and maintain rail cars, locomotives, and their associated components to improve operations and passenger safety, as well as manage purchasing and inventory.   


The LIRR plans to use IBM Maximo software to integrate with onboard systems to monitor and diagnose defects, like improper brake pressure or a malfunctioning train door, and issue work orders. The software will also help the LIRR maintain critical components, like traction motors, by replacing them periodically based on life expectancy. Additionally, the LIRR is currently using IBM Maximo software to maintain the shop equipment used to repair and overhaul rail car components.


With help from IBM, the Long Island Rail Road Corporate Asset Management System will be expanded to include maintenance and management of all IT assets including PCs, laptops, servers, and software licenses, facilities, and assets being installed for the East Side Access project that will connect the LIRR to Grand Central Terminal.


The system will also integrate with the LIRR’s Geographic Information System and MTA Business Service Center software applications to improve administration and support. The LIRR plans to utilize hand-held devices using IBM’s mobile version of their asset management software for work orders and materials management.


BART will use the software to assess the condition and location of all of its assets and efficiently manage the parts and people required to fix problems before they arise, as part of a multi-year modernization project that includes updating and integrating existing equipment as well as adding new rail cars to the fleet,


IBM is helping Metro manage all of its assets, including more than 12,000 bus stops and train stations, 106 miles of track, 1,144 rail cars, and 1,500 buses. Beyond transportation assets, Metro uses the IBM software to properly maintain the 594 escalators and 275 elevators. All of these parts of the transportation system — 267,000 in total for Metro — can be tracked, monitored, and managed from a central control center using simple on-screen displays.


Metro will improve maintenance by integrating the overall work procedures with contract management, as well as monitor and manage the maintenance equipment. This will lower the operational maintenance cost while improving productivity and prolonging the life span of the equipment, and ultimately improving safety and reliability of its service.

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