Railtrack has saved an estimated £1.2m by using a data management system on its West Coast route modernisation.
The Stand Alone Pocket Archive system, from Document Control Services, is being used to compile and electronically distribute thousands of aerial photos, overhead electrification drawings, and health and safety documents.
Andy Fordyce, project manager at Railtrack, said, "We're saving money in survey costs and also project-based resource costs."
Thanks to the new system, contractors working on the West Coast project now have instant access to CD-Rom-based information. In the past, such access would have involved a lengthy and expensive manual process.
Railtrack scanned 85,000 drawings, which are now available on 33 CDs along with 90,000 aerial photos, which will, in turn, be distributed on a set of 136 CDs.
Fordyce said, "We are also compiling our ground service surveys. We hope to have this information available to the whole West Coast by mid-December. This eliminates the duplication of surveys and provides information for clearances, track-widening and speed improvements."
Transferring the information onto CD, however, is only phase one of the project. Fordyce explained, "The CDs are the tactical solution; the strategic one is to have the data available online. Our plan is to have the information available over the Railtrack Wan and the Lans associated with it."
While he acknowledged that Railtrack needs to get the bandwidth in place for this, Fordyce expects the online version to be up and running some time next year.
He added, "The Stand Alone Pocket Archive is complementary with the Documentum system that we are using. It merges well with our technology matrix."