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Rail News: Maintenance Of Way

'Decision-support' software helps MARTA improve maintenance and operations planning


During the past year, “decision-support” maintenance and operations planning software has helped Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) reduce the time it spends analyzing automated track geometry and exceptions, and verifying track exceptions or defects by more than 70 percent, according to Bentley Systems Inc., provider of the Bentley Optram system.

A software suite designed to provide track managers with a concise view of the rail infrastructure through digital track charts, rail assets and attributes, the Bentley Optram system combines data on system performance and maintenance activity.

By deploying the system — which interoperates with MARTA’s enterprise asset management system to automatically generate work orders and capture progress, history and cost information for reuse in decision-making — in October 2006, MARTA’s Track and Structures division has eliminated manual tasks that “provide no value-add” and improved work processes by converting data into quality information, Bentley said in a press release. As a result, Bentley recently presented MARTA with a BE (Bentley Empowered) Award of Excellence for “Best Return on Innovation.”

“Bentley Optram provides the Track and Structures team with powerful planning tools and allows us to address conditions proactively,” said Tim Elsberry, acting assistant director of MARTA’s Track and Structures division. “We foresee achieving a 20 percent reduction in maintenance and renewal costs.”