Fast track to a digital RAMS approval system

Network Rail uses low-code to build a seamless end-to-end works approval system

The challenge

Network Rail owns, operates and develops Britain’s railway infrastructure, including operating 20 of the UK’s busiest train stations.

As the landlords for many retailers operating from those stations, Network Rail is responsible for maintaining all aspects of the station property, ensuring that health and safety standards are met. This ranges from a contractor applying new shelving in a shop, to replacing glazing in a station roof, working on a 25 metre platform. Maintaining safety of commuters and preventing interruptions to the train timetable are paramount.

Network Rail uses Risk Assessment Method Statements (RAMS) to evaluate requests for work on any station premises, where independent assessors evaluate how to keep the stations safe and ensure minimal interruptions to normal operations. Their process for booking maintenance engineers was cumbersome, arduous and lacked transparency. It was difficult for everyone using it: clients requesting work, contractors carrying out work and assessors tracking requests.

Scalable enterprise solution

They needed a seamless, digital RAMS approval system to make it quicker and easier to manage and provide visibility and updates to all parties. Netcall’s Professional Services Team built a prototype using Liberty Create, our low-code platform.

“It’s all in the planning. The Netcall team was superb, they literally delivered more in the first fortnight than we were able to deliver in the previous six months. We methodically worked through a spreadsheet of the process and dependencies, they worked hand in hand with me to reach what we wanted to achieve.”

Mark McMonagle

Business Systems Development Manager, Network Rail

The solution

“The solution is a brilliant time-saver. It’s now a lot easier for Network Rail to approve requests and it’s given transparency to all that use the system. Plus, it has dramatically reduced our workload. I can now approve an eRAMS request in 20 minutes, before it would have taken hours to review and administer. It’s invaluable.”

Peter Hurst

Station Operations Manager, Network Rail

The result

  • The prototype was built in two weeks, and it solved around 80% of the issues – this wasn’t a presentation of what could be done, it was something tangible that was working
  • Network Rail selected a busy station, Liverpool Street, to work with Netcall to develop the application and pilot the new system
  • Working together, the Digital RAMS approval system (eRAMS) application was built to fit the unique process and requirements
  • It was iterated, tested and evolved, which is quick and easy in low-code (and can continue after the application is live to adapt to changing needs)
  • The new eRAMS app has now been deployed to support London Bridge, Charing Cross, Cannon Street, Waterloo, Victoria, Clapham Junction and Guildford Stations
  • This enterprise digital solution is scalable and built to support future needs and ensure the high standards across the network

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