“It varies depending on what the rail operator’s core business is, as there are multiple factors which need to be considered – i.e., future business goals, priorities and performance requirements, in addition to operational, environmental and legal constraints.
For a passenger service operator, high priority data sources will, for example, be the functionality of the doors, air conditioning and toilets etc, and if any of these systems were to fail, it would have a greater impact on the passenger experience.
To give an example, let’s say that the same train type is deployed in Portugal and Finland. The heating system performance is almost irrelevant on the train that runs in Portugal; however, for the same train, the heating is extremely important in Finland, where temperatures reach below -40 degrees. The national and environmental constraints in Finland require that heating is a high priority for the safety of the passengers. There is not a ‘one size fits all solution’.
Data is just as important to freight. Ensuring the availability of assets is critical, and understanding the user’s needs and problems help operators to understand which systems might have a higher impact and likelihood on the train operation and maintenance and/ or cancellation of the service. Having the correct tailored data and analysing it effectively can be crucial.”