Creating an efficient and time-saving system
Lineas trains use a railway network that is closed for public services. Only companies affiliated with this network are allowed to drive on these tracks. The entire network is divided into several zones, and the tracks in each zone can only be used by one train at a time. In the past, drivers had to call the central station for permission to enter or leave a certain zone. Every move was being registered manually.
Of course, this system was very time-consuming and not completely waterproof. For instance, train drivers never knew the location of the other trains. This outdated way of working was not in line with Lineas’ vision and ideals. As an innovator and role model for the industry, they want to apply technology to ensure safety and to increase efficiency. So it was time to automate the whole process. Lineas turned to us in order to create an app to make this network more efficient.
We developed an application that allows train drivers to easily indicate the content of their cargo and the amount they are transporting. The app also shows the starting point of a certain train and its destination. Drivers can now see who is entering and leaving a specific zone. This means they know at a glance if the tracks are available or not.
Moreover, we created a CMS in which all movements on the train tracks can be monitored. In this way every user knows the trains’ location, load and destination at any time.
The biggest challenge was to integrate a live-refreshing function to the app. Yet this was very important for the system to operate smoothly. Whenever a train blocks a zone, other users need to see it on the app right away. We succeeded in developing a mechanism that pushed updates in the system to all apps.
Technology and collaboration
We developed both the system and the design of the application, which runs on Android tablets.
The app has been in operation at the Lineas railway network since January 7, 2019. Of course, this is not the end of the road. Since the app has been launched, we have moved into the ‘care’ phase. This means we provide the best updates for the app, and we make sure it always keeps performing flawlessly.