Network Rail succeeds with innovative billing system

"Network Rail is focused on implementing a world class infrastructure and the successful implementation of the Track Access Billing System helps us move closer to achieving this."

Catherine Doran, director of business transformation, Network Rail

A large part of Network Rail's funding comes from charges made to passenger and freight train operators for track usage. The Office of the Rail Regulator (ORR) sets these charges every five years. The charges are based on a set of complex rules relating to thousands of train movements every day.

Anticipating the introduction of a new set of rules in 2009, Network Rail decided to replace its legacy billing systems with a single solution that could handle changes to the billing rules more effectively. It hoped that this would make it easy for administrative staff to manage the workload. It also hoped it would improve the accuracy of revenue collection.

The Challenge

Network Rail needed a solution, and it needed it fast. Our challenge was to develop first-of-its-kind integrated software that enables a transport infrastructure company to bill for the use of its assets.

The requirement was to process, validate and store 28,000 train movements every day so that Network Rail's finance team could bill accurately and automatically from a single system.

The Solution

We developed a Track Access Billing System (TABS) using Microgen's Aptitude rules engine and Oracle reporting tools. A dedicated team of 20-plus members worked against tough timelines to develop an innovative rules-based system to support automated billing. The system went live successfully on April 3, 2009. TABS provides responsive and accurate billing information that ensures the following:

  • Ease of use
  • Reduced cost of ownership by implementing a single system
  • Enhanced infrastructure management
  • Access to historical information

The Results

No more manual intervention for Network Rail. It now bills for access or use of the UK rail infrastructure through TABS. With TABS, it now has the business autonomy that enables updates to charging rules without the need for further investment. Our solution is flexible and truly customizable. The billing team can easily extend and modify the system to accommodate new charging regimes.

TABS also supports the UK rail industry's regulatory changes and ensures revenue assurance, increasing the number of train journeys that are accurately billed.

Why CGI?

Over the last 12 years, we have successfully collaborated with Network Rail on several infrastructure management projects. Across the transport sector, we are known for our technology know-how and delivery record.

CGI offers a world class intelligent transport systems practice with a pool of specialists who have a deep understanding of travel information, traffic management, transport safety, security and the environment.

We also have a flexible, collaborative culture. Our innovative, practical solutions are tailored to client needs across the transport sector.

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Note: The project referenced in this case study was delivered by Logica, which CGI acquired in August 2012.