ProRail is tasked with providing a readily available and efficient rail network throughout the Netherlands; this includes both public transport and freight. They are responsible for the construction, maintenance, management and safety of the Dutch rail network. Every day, over one million passengers and 115,000 tons of goods reach their destination using more than 7,000 kilometers of track.


On a daily basis, well over a million passengers rely on ProRail to provide safe, secure and highly efficient rail transport. The company has set for itself highest standards of operations; yet incidents cannot be avoided completely. Annually, thousands of incidents occur that cause delays and disruptions, which are not only frustrating, but can have a negative financial impact and diminish passenger satisfaction. The operational and business need is to handle all incidents effectively, minimizing possible damage and operational downtime.
ProRail sought an incident management system that would help anticipate events, proactively reduce response time, efficiently manage incidents in real time, and mitigate the potential risk and escalation of events. In addition, ProRail had defined a set of objectives that included minimizing avoidable accidents; reducing recovery time from accidents to less than one hour; and facilitating collaborative response by sharing incident related information in real time with stakeholders and field personnel.


Qognify partnered with Geodan, an expert in GIS and crisis management systems, to implement an integrated Situator/Spoorweb solution that helps manage rail operations in real time for post-event investigation, analysis and the ongoing evaluation of event handling. From a single, centralized Operation Command Control Room, ProRail is now able to manage up to ten thousand incidents a year across the Netherland’s rail systems, including on-track malfunctions, fire incidents and other crisis situations.


Since the implementation of the solution, ProRail has succeeded in improving key metrics in rail and infrastructure operations, such as a reduction in registration and alerting time intake time and incident response time. This has enabled ProRail to react faster and more efficiently to unfolding events, thereby minimizing or preventing disruptions while safeguarding passengers, staff and infrastructure. ProRail now has a single platform for sharing and exchanging relevant information about each incident in real time. It allows for the prompt and accurate alerting of key stakeholders via intelligent mass notification capabilities. Situator
ensures that everyone has complete situational awareness. Situation management is also improved by making sure that operators’ actions are guided by organizational best practices. It is incredibly important to be able to quantify the results of deploying new technology — in particular one that is so vital to the smooth running of a country’s rail system. As mentioned previously, a primary objective of ProRail was to reduce response time to incidents. Within a year of deployment, that was achieved with phenomenal results. ProRail has improved response time, which in turn has greatly increased rail system availability and efficiency.


“Since the implementation of Situator we have been able to reduce intake time by over 60 percent, from an average of 14 minutes to just 4 minutes, so this project has had a major impact on our operational efficiency right across the network. What’s more, this substantial time saving can also be the difference between life and death in an emergency situation. Today, we have confidence that regardless of the type of incident, or the experience of the operator dealing with it, each event is handled quickly, efficiently and to a consistently high standard.” Hans Smits, Director of Incident Management at ProRail “Handling incidents faster and more efficiently is a high priority within the rail sector, as our ultimate goal is to provide our customers with
safe and reliable transport. The joint solution offered by Qognify and Geodan allows us to unify and centralize operations, this means that we can provide all stakeholders with a single picture of the situation, quickly inform relevant parties, and make the right decisions faster.” said Hans Smits.