This paper is the result of a research and engagement project conducted by RICS and the rail industry. It aims to assess the future nature of the supply chain process within rail infrastructure and is a direct response to the UK government’s Construction 2025 report.

The rail industry is fragmented, and suffers from a poor alignment of systems, data and processes, poor knowledge sharing and limited data management. Moreover, rail industry working methods have generally been ad hoc, largely making use of ‘local’ processes developed by individual organisations and regions.

Technology is rapidly altering this position, and certainly there have been advances in data acquisition and the presentation of data in a digital format. However, it remains clear that there is often no common data environment between rail organisations or companies within the rail industry itself, which gives rise to data compatibility problems.

This paper looks at how building information modelling (BIM) could help to overcome these data barriers through the supply chain and across the rail industry.



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