East West Railway Company Trackathon - pitch opportunity for suppliers

East West Railway Company want to hear from suppliers with solutions for rail infrastructure construction and maintenance.

Opportunity Details


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Pitch opportunity, pitching support, potential future commercial opportunities.

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East West Railway Company’s Trackathon event is aimed at gathering information, refining and exploring solutions to six innovation challenges (listed below). You are invited to register your interest for Day 2 of the Trackathon on 29th September 2023 (full day), which is centred around suppliers, SMEs and rail membership organisations.

Spaces at the Trackathon are limited and offered at EWR’s discretion. Selected suppliers will be informed by 1st September.

Benefits for suppliers

This is a good opportunity for suppliers to engage EWR experts on a key strategic challenge and
gather detailed information around specific pain points, needs and potential value. Furthermore, you will also have the opportunity to present your organisation’s solution to help
EWR think creatively about addressing a specific challenge.

This is an information-gathering event only and any subsequent commercial activity will be the subject of a formal procurement exercise.

Structure of the day

After a brief introduction from senior leadership and innovation teams, suppliers will be allocated to groups according to which challenge each supplier selected during the registration of interest. During the day suppliers will create a short pitch document describing the problem, the supplier’s solution and its potential benefits. Throughout the day suppliers will spend
time with EWR experts to tailor the pitch document. At the end of the day suppliers will
email their pitches to EWR’s innovation team. Sparksfly, an innovation consultancy, who will be facilitating the event on EWR’s behalf.

Challenge areas

They are looking to hear from innovators who have solutions in the below areas:

Challenge 1: Increasing quality and use of recycled materials

EWR’s civil engineering and building programme will generate large volumes of construction by-products. EWR is interested in solutions which will upgrade the quality of these by-products or increase the use of recycled materials in EWR construction.

Challenge 2: Enabling efficient earthworks

EWR’s earthworks programme will excavate ~16Mm3 material and is one of the largest items of EWR’s capital spend. EWR is interested in solutions which speed up earthworks design decisions, improve information sharing and increase the usability of cut material. EWR is also interested in solutions which lower the cost of earthworks plant, including fleet optimisation
tools and use of low cost alternative energy (e.g. hydrogen, electrification).

Challenge 3: Mitigating supply bottlenecks

Delays in the EWR scheme may cost upwards of £1-3m per week. Supply bottlenecks, such as a lack of locomotives (to transport building materials) or constraints on plant availability, significantly increase the likelihood of delay. EWR is interested in the use of innovative digital or AI solutions to manage materials transportation and plant sourcing more efficiently, thereby reducing the need for stockpiling and associated cash and land requirements.

Challenge 4: Reducing cost of concrete construction

Constructing the railway will use ~230,000m3 of concrete, mostly within structures (e.g. viaducts, bridges), stations and temporary works. EWR is interested in solutions which optimise concrete design, increase the proportion of precasting, replace concrete structures with lower cost prefabricated or 3D-printed items and use alternative concrete mixes.

Challenge 5: Enabling efficient infrastructure maintenance

EWR is interested in exploring solutions which reduce infrastructure maintenance costs for earthworks, track, electrical equipment, structures & bridges, stations and power equipment. EWR is interested in innovative data collection devices, analysis platforms and BIM to support lower cost predictive maintenance processes and reduce manual inspections.

Challenge 6: Enabling efficient rolling stock maintenance

EWR is interested in exploring digital solutions which enable automated inspection and predictive maintenance of rolling stock. EWR is interested in solutions which derive benefit from on-track or in-depot sensors and therefore have near-to-medium-term impacts on the construction of the railway.


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