Infrastructure consulting firm Amey and technology company Finboot are partnering to deploy blockchain technology to improve rail possession planning for the first time in the UK.

The technology will be trialled by Amey together with Transport for Wales as part of the transformation of the Core Valley Line rail network.

Amey and Finboot to deploy blockchain to improve possession planning
Amey and Finboot to deploy blockchain to improve possession planning

Blockchain, an immutable ledger which digitally records transactions, is to be used to determine access times for engineers to allow them to access the rail tracks safely in order to perform maintenance, renewal and enhancement work.

The ability of blockchain to securely and independently record decisions is an improvement on traditional planning systems, which leave room for duplication and inconsistency. The aim is to not only improve accountability and security, but also to bring about more automation in possession planning. This, it is hoped, will then reduce costs, improve operational efficiencies and also improve safety.

Tom Kinnear, Partner, Amey Consulting, said:

Safe, effective, and predictable possession planning is essential in keeping our engineers safe and our rail network running. Through partnering with Finboot, we will provide the rail industry a UK first, in using Blockchain to radically improve this process. Opening the rail industry to new technologies from other industries is essential if we are to innovate, and build a forward thinking, digital-first railway we can all be proud of.

Amey and Finboot said this project aligns with a Railway Industry Association (RIA) report from March 2023, where one recommendation was for the industry to “open itself up to different ideas from new and experienced innovators in its own and other industries”.

Amey Consulting and Finnboot announced in 2022 that they had won funding to develop a solution to remove costs associated with conflict in the rail industry.


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