KiwiRail IT Joins Today’s World


KiwiRail’s boss admits the company needs to be updated with 21st Century technology to create a more economically vibrant transport system for the country – so today announced a $3m deal with IBM.

The deal means IBM will provide KiwiRail with the software and services designed to improve visibility and management of its tracks, bridges and other network assets to improve the speed, safety, and reliability of its rail service.

Maximo, IBM’s enterprise asset management solution, will help KiwiRail Network improve the management of its assets by delivering information on the condition of the 4,000 kms of railway track, bridges and thousands of pieces of rail equipment as well as the signals that control the safe movement of trains around New Zealand.

IBM has been charged with implementing similar smarter rail systems around the world. For example, Netherlands Railways, one of the busiest networks in Europe, uses advanced optimisation software from IBM to weigh more than 50,000 variables, including the railroad’s infrastructure and passenger demand, to assemble and schedule more than 5,000 trains per day, improving operating efficiency by 6 percent with an estimated annual savings of $35m.

For the KiwiRail deal, IBM has partnered with IBM has partnered with local firms, Certus Solutions and Cortell.

KiwiRail’s general manager, Rick van Barneveld, said that advanced business analytics will provide proactive, accurate analysis and reporting of network assets in real-time to help KiwiRail manage resources efficiently.

He said that the transport ministry predicts that freight volumes will grow by 75% over the next 20 years so KiwiRail needed to invest in its infrastructure to ensure rail can shoulder its share of that traffic.

IBM’s general sales manager, Phill Patton, said his company’s software and services will help KiwiRail improve” how it manages the assets which make up its rail network, to improve the speed, safety and reliability of its rail service.”

 The director of IBM Global Rail Innovation Centre, Keith Dierkx, said: “With rising fuel prices and congestion on the roadways, railroads have emerged as a fuel- and cost-efficient means of moving goods and people.”



  1. karl says:

    Good to hear its not a new thing for IBM, or within the rail industry either. I have a horror of large-scale and especially experimental, large-scale IT projects, they are such money sinks.

  2. Ian says:

    It was IBM that delivered the police force an utter lemon. Hope they do better with Kiwirail.


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