ORBIS Programme

Network Rail relies heavily on high quality asset information to safely and efficiently plan, design, change, manage and operate its asset base. Historically, this information was held in a number of different systems, with many user interfaces.

The new information management programme ORBIS (Offering Rail Better Information Services) is set to change the way in which such asset information is collected, stored and utilised, with substantial benefits.

ORBIS gives operators many benefits, and enables workers to be able to access key asset information at a click of a button, take virtual tours of a work site before a visit, and also be able to pick out information required for a job from a single source.

As part of the ORBIS Programme, Iphones have been rolled out to the maintenance teams to help make their activities safer and more efficient. Ipads are being introduced to provide the maintenance teams with up-to-date maps, work schedules, technical drawings, standards, inspection forms etc. in the palm of their hands, allowing them to also capture images from the field.

ORBIS Programme

ORBIS is the multi-year data improvement and business change programme that will help deliver information products and services across the rail business. The constituent parts of this projact are:

  • Organisational Change Programme
  • Asset Data Improvement Programme 
  • Breakthrough Programme – early wins
  • Tranche 1 – informing foundations
  • Tranche 2 – joining it up
  • Tranche 3 – making it real time.



ORBIS Programme

The main objectives of the project are to:

  • Tranch 1 - Builds the ‘what’ (accurate asset registers, condition information and other base information sets 
  • required to support asset policy) and ‘where’ (maps, track/aerial views, foundation track diagrams)
  • It puts in place the organisation, governance, master data management, handheld devices and operational change control management to maintain and improve asset information
  • Tranche 2 -  Connecting up the logical relationships between assets via the network model and the mapping platforms providing a consistent view of network capacity, capability and asset performance
  • Connects up the rail vehicle register with other systems, help the routes get their safety-critical schematics 
  • into better shape; implements decision support for Signalling, Buildings & Civils, Electrification & Plant and Operational Property asset types
  • Tranche 3 -  Integrates a real-time view of asset performance in the core network model with operations 
  • traffic management systems, and fully integrates the ORBIS systems with access planning
  • Implements decision support for Telecoms, Vehicles and Commercial Property asset types.


Client: Not applicable

Location: UK

Start date: 2011

End date: 2019

Duration: 96 months

Contract value: Confidential

Services provided: Asset management