The i-TRACS project is a business-led, collaborative project aimed at demonstrating the benefits and structure of a new digital “ecosystem” for the UK rail industry. The demonstrator will focus upon providing new digital services in three key areas of rail transport;
- Freight operations optimisation
- Passenger information services
- Train operator analytics services.
The project is led by AIMES who have experience in successfully developing and deploying demonstrators for TSB in Network Services and in Transport Services. The i-TRACS consortium has immediate access to open and proprietary data sources and is experienced in curating, integrating and applying such data sets to address real-world transport problems and creating value. The assets utilised are varied and relate to rail operations. For example they include public transport travel data from Placr via their Transport.api service, sentiment analysis using feeds such as Twitter/Facebook. Freight transport data will be provided by Containerport and will include feeds from the major shipping lines, including Hamburg Sud, and from freight haulage companies.
The i-TRACS project will be physically located at the Rail Industry Transport Demonstrator Facility at AIMES and the hub will be hosted in the G-Cloud accredited, next generation cloud campus in Liverpool. Partners responsible for deploying the information hub include AIMES and BT Research who both have experience in creating commercial-scale transport platforms with open APIs.
AIMES created an interoperable information hub as part of the TSB funded Fibrenet demonstrator (www.fibrenet-project.org.uk) using open, RESTful services and BT has created an open platform for global supply chains based upon their Smart Communities Spine technology. The project will also work with other “Enabling the Digital Railway” Projects to create a ‘Federated Information Hub’ model and will work with the EU funded FI-PPP programme and the ESA funded Freight Optimisation project.
The project specifically addresses issues identified in the Technical Strategy Leadership Group’s (TSLG) Rail Technical Strategy published in 2012 in “realising the value of its data for customers and internal purposes …… and be capable of integrating a variety of information sources to produce new information and adapt their business strategies”.