Home Blockchain How is the rail industry reaping the benefits of blockchain technology?

How is the rail industry reaping the benefits of blockchain technology?

by Abigail Bautista

Blockchain technology is set to be implemented on the Core Valley lines in Wales, and this has sparked interest in how the wider rail industry could benefit from its use. Blockchain is known for its role in the development of cryptocurrencies, but its potential extends far beyond finance. It offers a solution for storing, sharing, and verifying valuable information across multiple organizations.

One of the main advantages of blockchain technology is that it provides a single source of truth, similar to common data environments (CDEs). However, unlike CDEs, blockchain distributes data across a network of nodes. This means that when new data is registered, it must be verified and agreed upon by all nodes in the network, preventing the falsification of records.

In the rail industry, blockchain technology can be particularly useful due to the complex stakeholder environment involved in projects. With multiple stakeholders, data transparency and accountability become crucial. Blockchain technology ensures that all parties involved in a project have access to real-time data, reducing the number of disputes and providing greater visibility of decision-making processes.

One application of blockchain technology in the rail sector is possession planning. Amey, an infrastructure consultant, has been collaborating with software company Finboot to develop a blockchain solution for rail possession planning on the Core Valley lines in Wales. The current possession planning system lacks functionalities such as data cleansing and bringing data sets together. By implementing blockchain technology, Amey aims to improve data management and decision-making processes, as well as reduce delays caused by withheld information.

High Speed 2 (HS2) Ltd is also exploring the use of blockchain technology in the rail industry. HS2 collaborated with supply chain members to test blockchain technology for plant hire procurement. The successful trial led to further investigations into using blockchain to create a carbon marketplace. The carbon marketplace aims to incentivize supply chain partners to reduce emissions by aligning carbon reductions with financial incentives. Blockchain technology ensures the verifiability of carbon allowances, building trust in the system.

Despite the potential benefits of blockchain technology in the rail industry, there are barriers to its wider adoption. These include a lack of understanding of the technology and its cost. However, as more successful implementations are demonstrated and the business value becomes evident, adoption is likely to accelerate.

Overall, blockchain technology has the potential to revolutionize the rail industry by improving data management, transparency, and decision-making processes. As more applications are explored and successful implementations are realized, the benefits of blockchain technology in the rail sector will become increasingly clear.

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