How a visual cross-discipline collaboration software is enabling efficient delivery of New Zealand rail upgrade projects.
New Zealand’s rail transport system has connected people and goods around the country for more than 150 years. KiwiRail is in the midst of a transformation following a Government investment of more than $4 billion since 2017. This funding is enabling KiwiRail to deliver more than just physical assets, as the capital projects create an opportunity to also transform the way KiwiRail works.
The New Zealand Government outlined its 10-year vision for rail through the NZ Rail Plan. This also represents a historic change in the way the rail network is planned and funded in New Zealand. In July 2021, the first Rail Network Investment Programme (RNIP) came into effect which sees Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency fund rail infrastructure from the National Land Transport Fund (NLTF), providing a long-term pipeline of infrastructure investment.
KiwiRail leverages Revizto for ROI
KiwiRail’s Wiri to Quay Park (W2QP) project is one of a number of capital rail projects that is powered by Revizto. As KiwiRail revitalises the busy junctions of Westerfield & Wiri and builds a Third Main to separate slow-moving freight trains from faster commuter trains, Revizto acts as the key coordination tool that pulls the delivery team together into a single source of truth collaborative environment .
KiwiRail – Digital Engineering Lead Derek Jannings said Revizto is the golden thread on the project.
“It is used in both design and construction coordination meetings to resolve issues and provide visual context, driving conversations and enable the W2QP team to solve complex issues prior to conducting work onsite.”
Without a tool for collaboration, complex rail infrastructure projects can be challenging to deliver on time and under budget. There are a number of different stakeholders who support the delivery of KiwiRail projects, and this is often done using a range design authoring softwares for specific disciplines. Before Revizto, KiwiRail lists the particular challenges it encountered from a technical perspective.
- Disjointed information located across multiple locations
- Designers or consultants using model authoring software specific to their discipline and are not able to access other design models
- Multiple issue tracking registers (spreadsheets) on projects which had no connection to visual information
- Rich 3D information limited to specialised BIM practitioners
KiwiRail’s Digital Engineering transformational programme changes the way projects are being delivered and looks to leave the business with more than just physical assets but also rich digital assets at the end of this watershed period of investment. A consistent approach to scaled collaboration environments across our portfolio is a key element to the delivery of these assets.
- Designs are now connected and coordinated in a single place
- Democratised information, 3D models are available for all – not just BIM specialists
- Visual context. Stakeholders can be brought into the Revizto environment to provide meaningful input into the design. Teams are more aligned and on the same page.
Increasing bottom line through efficiency
As rail is a live environment, access to the network for complex infrastructure construction means that planned work needs to be completed within the agreed timeframes. KiwiRail has taken a bold approach to provide licensing for its supply chain who they are working with collaboratively to deliver projects. This means that everyone has access to Revizto on the project and 3D and 2D information is democratised. For KiwiRail, the cost of issues not being coordinated on site is significantly higher than providing licensing for Revizto.
“Using Revizto as our collaboration environment on projects enables us to reduce risks and errors during construction substantially,” Jannings said.
Because we work in a live rail environment, when we get access to the rail corridor to conduct infrastructure construction, it is critical we complete the work within the allocated time frames; this means things must be coordinated! With Revizto, everything went according to plan.”
Next-level coordination with Revizto
The scale of the W2QP project means that there are a number of different work streams at different stages in the life cycle of a project. This means due to tight completion timeframes that the project has construction and design works happening at the same time. KiwiRail receives monthly as-built models and import these into Revizto to coordinate with the proposed design models. This enables a next level of coordination for the project, further reducing the likelihood of issues needing to be resolved on site.
Jannings said design updates are uploaded fortnightly along with monthly as-built models – the as-built models are then feedback into the design environment.
“This enables the team to always be coordinating with the latest information and updating where necessary adjustments are required — reducing risks and mistakes on-site.”
Removing interoperability barriers
For KiwiRail and the W2QP project Revizto is more than just a platform for design information. Monthly as-built drone surveys, as-built models, existing underground services and rail specific track gauge clearance models. Revizto also is able to host 3D models developed in bespoke rail specific softwares such as overhead line models. Being able to bring 3D track clearance models into the platform allows the W2QP project to coordinate tight tolerances for overhead line and signal design at Wiri and Westfield junctions. These are the busiest junctions in New Zealand’s rail network and therefore require a high level of accuracy when coordinating new assets.
“Revizto enables us to prioritise issues that need to be solved before scheduled physical construction works,” Jannings said.
The teams work collaboratively to resolve all the issues in the digital world before construction begins: we are under huge time pressure, and there is no room for errors.”
Powerful Revizto features for KiwiRail
Multiple search sets – Search Sets in Revizto allow KiwiRail to democratise the large number of models and design disciplines on their projects, then make it available to a wider audience in one platform. Project teams who are not familiar with object trees are able to easily filter models through object properties or predefined areas, empowering KiwiRail with actionable insights.
Multistamping & Issue Tracking – Before Revizto, KiwiRail dealt with spreadsheet-based issue registers with no visual representation, resulting in ambiguity with team collaboration workflows. Issue Tracking solves this communication problem between KiwiRail’s design and construction teams with predefined metadata, markup reviews, fault detection & data visualizations in granular detail.
Custom Properties – Custom Properties in Revizto is paramount to KiwiRail’s success on W2QP. With an industry-specific railway expertise comes the need for KiwiRail to think outside of the box with the traditional authoring tools, and bring the specialist inputs of project stakeholders together through custom parameters in rail clearance models.
Favorites & Tooltips with Object-Based Navigation – Access to quick, real-time data is immensely critical for the time-sensitive project delivery of WQ2P. KiwiRail utilises these two Revizto features to bring location-based data and visuals closer together as it switches between parallel workstreams to remove bottlenecks and zero in on the high-priority items in a compressed project timeline.
For more information and to request a demo, visit revizto.com
Find out more about KiwiRail’s purpose of Stronger Connections, Better New Zealand: https://www.kiwirail.co.nz/