How to achieve the maximum social benefit from Digirail, and what types of actions or decisions are required? Among other things, these questions will be addressed and resolved by the new Digirail development and monitoring group, which includes representatives from several different railway industry actors.

Digirail is a necessary replacement investment that will renew train control, safety equipment, remote control and traffic management systems, improve railway capacity and enable the growth of rail transport. In order to achieve the greatest possible social benefit from Digirail, we need the cooperation and commitment to change of railway sector operators. To this end, a new working group has been put together to address issues regarding the development and monitoring of Digirail’s goals. The group met for the first time in the beginning of May.

The group is facilitated by Fintraffic and the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency in cooperation, and the group also has representatives from VR, HSL, Fenniarail, Pääkaupunkiseudun Junakalusto Oy, North Rail and Traficom.

“Together with Esa Sirkiä from the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency, we set up to establish a group to address goals, so that we could bring all the relevant players to the same table and form a more deeper understanding of each entity’s goals regarding Digirail as well as their priorities. Only through engaging in dialogue can we understand each other and be able to commit to investments that result in significant developments when we work together. Through a shared commitment, we can get the most out of Digirail in the future,” says Sanna Järvenpää, CEO of Fintraffic Railway.

Decision-making is also needed outside the project

What social benefits do you wish to gain from Digirail in the future? These include safety, smooth operation, efficiency and increased capacity building. Digirail will implement the necessary changes to make the technological leap possible, but the achievement of the objectives can also be influenced by many other factors, such as the contracts, individual services, technological solutions, and the personnel’s skills and changes in work duties for the involved actors. Therefore, we also need actions, commitment and decision-making outside of the Digirail project.

Broader decision-making is needed in the implementation and scope of ATO (Automatic Train Operation), a unified knowledge base, the development of energy efficiency solutions, the utilisation of capacity growth and safety, to mention a few.

“Digirail is a significant step towards more modern and efficient rail traffic in Finland. It is important that the players in the sector share a common vision and clear goals, so that we can genuinely have Finland’s best interest at heart. Already in the first meeting, we shared some excellent discussions. This puts us in a good place to continue our work, together,” says Järvenpää.