Rail Systems Engineering

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Things are changing fast in the rail supply chain.  With £35 billion expected to be spent on new services and equipment in the United Kingdom (UK) alone – a supply chain expansion of 140 percent – the market looks set for a steady period of growth.


This investment comes at a time when the British rail network is being transformed by technologies like cab signalling and condition-based maintenance.  The opportunities are there for those ready to step up and take them, but cutting-edge engineering has never been more important.

The Dramatic Shift Facing the Rail Industry

For rail suppliers, every positive development seems to come with corresponding risk.  There’s a huge amount of investment to be won right now, but in rail, every feast costs you a famine.  Ill-considered long-term investment in your engineering capabilities can leave you exposed when the good times stop.


To cope with rising product complexity and significant amounts of data, modern rail engineering teams must improve existing methods of working whilst embracing new processes and technologies to maintain a competitive edge.


Rail systems with greater capabilities mean more effort for those who work to keep the network up-and-running.  These challenges are only going to get harder as the years go by, and rail suppliers which can't adapt will face an uncertain future.


Collaborate, Evolve, Automate

Systems engineering is a discipline in its own right, concerned precisely with the insights, processes and tools to enable you to look at a product as a whole.  Systems engineering is about drawing on the science of finding patterns in organised complexity, and the analysis of the emergent properties of a whole, rather than the specific behaviour of individual components.  It’s a fundamental shift in perspective, based on the idea that looking at the structure of a complex system gives you a better understanding of how the system will behave than you would get from focusing only on the mechanical details.


We specialise in tool-supported systems engineering – providing our rail Customers with affordable systems engineering services, tools and training to increase their efficiency and effectiveness in delivering solutions to their Customers.


As an IBM® Gold Business Partner, SyntheSys provides a unique blend of application knowledge, experience and a flexible delivery mechanism, which provides Customers with the right software solution and a deeper understanding of the tools to ensure maximum benefit.


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Featured Resources

Managing Complexity in Rail Supply

Managing Rail Complexity

For rail suppliers, every positive development seems to come with corresponding risk.  There’s a huge amount of investment to be won right now, but in rail, every feast costs you a famine.  Ill-considered long-term investment in your engineering capabilities can leave you exposed when the good times stop.  We feel that it’s time to talk about different ways the rail supply industry can approach big picture thinking in engineering, and this white paper is the result.


Embracing Change in Rail Supply

Embracing Change in Rail Supply

Improved technology is driving a lot of current growth, but with this comes pressure to look to the bleeding edge and make difficult decisions about unproven innovations.  Which technologies are going to make the most progress toward decarbonisation?  Is the industry going to be ready to embrace the full potential of augmented reality and automation?  Will the pace of change in smart cities, the Internet of Things and 5G be so fast that rail suppliers will have to embrace them now?

Engineering a Better Railway for Northern Ireland

Engineering a Better Railway for Northern Ireland

By almost any measure you care to mention, the United Kingdom (UK) rail sector is flourishing.  Infrastructure renewal and expansion is near the top of the political agenda and the supply chain can look forward to a planned £35 billion investment over the next 15 years.  This is often said, but not all parts of the UK have seen the same public transport boom.  This latest White Paper explores how Systems Engineering techniques are now extensively used by the rail industry to deliver better national railway infrastructure and services and how these proven methods could help build a better Railway for Northern Ireland.

Maximising Value in Rail Supply

Maximising Value in Rail Supply

Finding ways to deliver better value is always a challenge but running headlong into a problem isn't always the best way to solve it.  Often, it's better to spend five minutes before you launch into looking for solutions, thinking instead about how to make the problem easier to solve.  This White Paper aims to put modern-day engineering under the spotlight and explores key areas to which rail suppliers may maximise value across the entire rail supply chain by using proven Systems Engineering methods and tools.

Agile Systems Engineering within Rail

The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.  This White Paper explores how Agile Systems Engineering uses both Agile and Systems Engineering techniques to manage engineering projects.  We look at how both of these methods can be used together by using Systems Engineering to steer the enterprise engineering from the programme level and above, and using Agile at the level of the individual team.  If you are currently using Agile methods to manage your development life cycle and would be interested in how the method can be governed, improved and extended, then this White Paper is for you.


Customer Success

Transport for London (TfL) Heads for the Clouds

The complex nature of Transport for London’s (TfL’s) major projects means that robust requirements management is essential to success. IBM® DOORS® Family is an integral part of the requirements management process on TfL's most complex projects, providing baselining, configuration control and the ability to link related information.

Making Requirements a Priority

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Email:  cet@synthesys.co.uk

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Version 2.2r dated 21 March 2024