Paul Rowlands


With over 20 years experience managing and delivering Overhead Line designs in UK, Australia and New Zealand, working for client, designer, consultant and contractor, coupled with my drive to improve quality and efficiencies, I have always sought opportunities to apply technology and automation. This has provided me with the unique combined skillsets which have culminated with my lead role for the Atkins Overhead Line detailed design tool, TADPOLE.

With the rail industry's initiative to adopt BIM Level 2, project and asset data can be utilised in so many more ways. I believe BIM is NOT all about 3D models but creation and distribution of assured structured data. But if this data cannot be easily created or utilised it is of little value. In addition new requirements/deliverables MUST not increase design costs and programme.


At present there is a lack of systems and tools to support Clients, Contractors, Designers and Maintainers to support the Overhead Line industry in a manner where real savings can be achieved and push data beyond a 3D model. With the imminent introduction of a common data exchange for Overhead Line assets there is immense potential to making real progress and drive towards BIM Level 3.

With the industrial and technology markets collaborating under 'Industry 4.0' the rail industry cant afford to be left behind.

Industry 4.0 is the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies. It includes cyber-physical systems, the Internet of things and cloud computing. Industry 4.0 creates what has been called a "smart factory".

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