Porterbrook’s collaboration with IOTICS enables new data-driven services in the Rail industry.

IOTICS to deploy a proof-of-concept secure data-sharing platform

Transport 20 Oct 2022 by Sophie Peachey

Porterbrook Leasing Company Ltd commissioned IOTICS to deploy a proof-of-concept secure data-sharing ecosystem to demonstrate how entirely new services could be developed, enabled by Porterbrook having the flexibility to share data generated by its fleet of trains. This proof of concept was in collaboration with the associated Train Operators.

To prove this concept, Porterbrook cooperated with OpenTrainTimes Ltd as a service developer, initially sharing with it just two of the data sources the trains had available – their identifying number and their GPS location. To add value to the shared data, OpenTrainTimes used an algorithm to match the train’s position with its head code so that the train’s information was now augmented with details of the service it was running. The value-added data is then available for others to follow and potentially develop further, giving a clear picture of where each train is and what it is doing.

This combined information is useful in many different scenarios. It can provide predictive maintenance algorithms with more precise details to improve infrastructure asset management. It can also enrich the picture of unfolding events like understanding “rough ride” or overhead line equipment damage by adding context to the available data, as well as to solutions considering customers’ experience such as those highlighting crowded trains.

IOTICS’ unique digital architecture enables new supply chain service development by using selective sharing, which allows bilateral access to and publishing of data from both the consumer and producer.

How it works.

Each stakeholder has their own IOTICSpace, in which to expand out their own data or service availability to share with whom and how they like. For example, the supply chain can find data sources that stakeholders like Porterbrook are willing to share and broker access to a stakeholder’s data.

Each IOTICSpace offers a secure, decentralised network by using a FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable) approach to data throughout its lifecycle, providing an easily navigated framework on which Porterbrook and IOTICS will enable a new economy of digital services to flourish.

Following a successful trial, Porterbrook and IOTICS intend to increase the data streams available plus include further apps and digital service companies, providing a secure space for existing data and extending the choice of intelligent services on offer to the Rail sector.

We spoke to Stephanie Klecha CEng, Portherbrook’s Head of Digital Services  who said

“Porterbrook has worked with IOTICS to share industry relevant Rolling Stock data. IOTICS has demonstrated the opportunity to integrate these data sources once, and then support multiple use cases. The platform made it simple for granular control over how and what we share. As Rail strives to work more as an ecosystem, IOTICS and Porterbrook are supporting the industry to do this through the intelligent transformation of data into information”


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