Balfour Beatty Opens the Rail Innovation Centre


A Rail Innovation Centre has been opened by Balfour Beatty, the global infrastructure group, at its Raynesway facility in Derby, UK. The purpose-built centre spans over an area of 450m2 and it will focus on the company’s latest developments in measurement systems, predict and prevent technology, signalling and data science.

Bringing together Balfour Beatty’s expertise in systems engineering, robotics, computer science, data analytics, electronics and electrical & mechanical engineering, the Rail Innovation Centre will house more than 150 technicians, engineers, data scientists and developers with an expertise in the design, operation and maintenance of the railway. In addition, the facility will also feature the company’s products and software technologies, including TrueTrak, OmniVision, OmniSurveyor3D, OmniCapture3D, DataMap and AssetView.

“Digital technologies are rapidly changing the rail industry, bringing new efficiencies and presenting new opportunities,” said Mark Bullock, Balfour Beatty rail and utilities CEO.

“The Rail Innovation Centre is at the heart of Balfour Beatty’s technology offering with the specific purpose of driving efficiencies and safety across the rail network for those who work on the railway and ultimately the travelling public,” he continued.

The facility will house the use of artificial intelligence, including machine learning and machine vision systems and robot testing, which will support remote and high-speed testing of rail infrastructure in a controlled environment.

Furthermore, the Rail Innovation Centre will help Balfour Beatty grow and maintain its graduate and technical pool of talent, as well as allow cooperation and knowledge sharing with various stakeholders and industry partners. Ultimately, it will boost the company’s relationships with the data science community and further mutually beneficial links with universities.

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