One of the North East’s fastest growing IT solutions companies has been awarded a multi-million pound contract that will help Network Rail plan and manage its railway infrastructure.
The Gateshead-based On:trac has developed an application known as eTrac which uses geospatial asset information to create live schematic diagrams detailing complex infrastructure in both 2D and 3D.
The development, which is currently being rolled out nationally on the railways, will be used to generate 26,000km of track diagrams, and can collect a wide variety of asset information, including the speed and direction of trains, hazards and risks, signals, bridges, structures, overhead lines, level crossings, stations and more.
The tool, which has the potential to revolutionise access planning and health and safety management in the rail industry, can also be used to update asset information in real-time through using hand held devices to feed back local information to depots.
Such communication could dramatically lower the risks and hazards to operatives working near or on the line.
eTrac was initially trialled in the Anglia region and, due to its success, is now being rolled out across the entire rail network over the next six months.
Managing director of On:trac Martyn Cuthbert said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for On:trac to demonstrate what can be achieved when you bring together lots of data and control, manage and share it using the very latest technology.
“eTrac is not limited to the transport industry.
“We are already in discussion with some key players in the construction, nuclear and engineering sectors and we have meetings arranged with companies in the Middle East and the US later in the year.”
The contract in the rail sector will create 15 additional support roles at On:trac’s Gateshead office.
Cuthbert added: “We are proud to be based in the North East and have received lots of support from the local colleges and universities as we have grown.
“That has given us access to some of the best people the IT industry has to offer and certainly, the most passionate.”
On:trac, which also has an office in London, has grown considerably since it was established in 2008.
As a result of continued expansion, it will be moving to larger offices in October.
The firm’s most recent addition, head of sales & marketing Ian Farrar, meanwhile, is looking to take On:trac’s range of services and products into vertical markets in the UK and beyond. Originally trained in engineering, Farrar, who has built a strong reputation in the industry, joins the team from a North East software firm where he held the position of commercial director.
He said: “When I met with Martyn and the team it didn’t take me long to jump at the chance to join the organisation.
“One of my first questions was surrounding the support and maintenance of the products. For the customer base and user levels I was surprised not to see a whole raft of support staff. This is not needed as the products are rock solid and built with a strong emphasis on the customer experience. This, along with the team’s values and passion for innovation, made this new challenge an exciting prospect”.