High Speed 2




High Speed 2 selects AIMS for core asset register

HS2 Ltd is developing and promoting the UK's new high speed railway network.  HS2 will form the backbone of the UK’s transport network, connecting eight out of ten of Britain’s largest cities.





The design, construction and transition into operation of the new HS2 network is a multi-year project involving many suppliers.  Information about the assets that it will deliver is being generated by design teams from many organisations and will be required by many others.

HS2 needs to be able to control the flow of this information, to ensure its quality, and to manage its development from high-level design through to delivered railway infrastructure and into the operational environment.

The project

A project of this scale has constantly changing data requirements through the design, build and operate phases.  In many cases, eventual data requirements and specifications are unknown and will change as the project evolves.  Assets delivered in early construction phases will require inspections and maintenance before the network itself becomes operational.

Additionally, the range of organisations involved in design and delivery requires the adoption of an open and flexible architecture, enabling access to both data specifications and the data itself by a range of organisations using a variety of technologies.

Our development platform, kinodb, lends itself well to these challenges.  datb created an asset register (AIMS) for HS2 that:

  • enables the configuration of required asset hierarchy (asset types, attributes, relationships) without the requirement for development activity
  • maintains an entire history of every asset's information to allow point-in-time comparison of design versions
  • segregates data visibility by organisation, user and data type, conferring visibility of information appropriately and removing the need to maintain separate information in additional repositories
  • facilitates the automated transfer of information to and from the asset register using a secure set of XML-based web services providing access to both the data specifications as these are revised over time, and the asset data itself.
AIMS implements a suite of web services allowing interchange of asset definitions and asset data between HS2 and its contractors. Contractors can use their own web service enabled asset suites or can use their own instance of AIMS, ensuring complete compatibility

How did we do this?

The project started off as a proof-of-concept exercise.  After two weeks HS2 had a system that they could configure to define their asset type hierarchy and store assets of the defined types.

Given the go-ahead to deploy this as a production system, datb's team spent five weeks implementing the detailed security model required to ensure that information could be appropriately segregated by contractor and role, and developing the set of web services to enable contractors' systems to receive data from, and deliver it to, the asset register.

After the initial implementation we have continued to add to the system's capabilities as new requirements have emerged.  We have also created a variant of the system that can be used by HS2's contractors, using the existing web services to manage the transfer of information to and from the core HS2 asset register as data requirements change and the design and build phases progress.

The system is cloud-hosted and users require only a browser and appropriate authentication credentials to access it.

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