Network Rail plans upgrade to engineer tracking system

By Gareth Morgan
29 Nov 2011 View Comments
A London Underground train at a platform

Network Rail is set to upgrade its critical safety system, Sentinel, which tracks the safety training, certification and deployment of 90,000 engineers, as the rail infrastructure operator looks to improve maintenance operations.

The so-called Sentinel 2 contract will cover a new fully managed service, covering areas such as work site access control, personnel working hours recording and lone worker monitoring.

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By improving the controls around its engineering operations, Network Rail should be able to reduce the cost of its maintenance work.

The current Sentinel system manages the training records and competencies of track engineers using smartcards, with more than 250,000 engineers registered since the scheme started in 1999.

Every engineer working on the tracks has to have their Sentinel card on them, allowing site managers to quickly assess whether they have the necessary skills to complete the tasks safely. To get a card, engineers must be sponsored by an employer such as Network Rail or approved railway contractor.

According to the notice placed in the Official Journal of the European Union, Network Rail wants Sentinel 2 to be a hosted system, capable of integrating seamlessly with its HR management system from Oracle.

“This service must meet Network Rail and industry requirements, but cost less to run, be easier to administer and be more efficient to use than the current solution,” the tender document stated.

No value was placed on the five year contract.

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