Increased efficiency with infrastructure models

In cooperation with other actors in the infrastructure sector, VR Track is actively developing processes facilitating the introduction of infrastructure modelling and improving productivity.

An infrastructure model is a digital presentation of an infrastructure project that contains the details of the structure during its life cycle. The aim is to put the design and construction processes and the life cycle management of individual infrastructure projects on a more efficient basis and to improve productivity.

VR Track a leader in infrastructure modelling

VR Track acted as an anchor company in the InfraFINBIM work package, which promoted infrastructure modelling expertise in the sector between 2010 and 2014.  When the work package was concluded in 2014, the infrastructure nomenclature had been expanded to cover infrastructure modelling. The general modelling guidelines for the sector are expected to be published during 2015. All design and implementation projects started by the Finnish Transport Agency after 1 May 2014 use the open data transfer format developed during the project.

Cooperation aimed at developing infrastructure modelling and the introduction of processes based on infrastructure models is continuing in the InfraBIM cooperation forum and the infrastructure, urban planning and training sectoral groups of BuildingSMART Finland.

Managing project life cycle with infrastructure models

Progress can only be achieved if each actor invests in the development of its own expertise. During the year, VR Track introduced a broad range of different software intended for the use of data model sets. The company also established internal procedures in support of infrastructure modelling expertise and its use across business divisions. Good working practices were also developed and established for design based on data models and the supply of data model sets.

A number of general, track and construction plans based on data models were implemented and delivered during 2014. As part of the compilation of infrastructure models for rail projects, VR Track modelled railway lines and their safety equipment and electric rail line objects, existing and planned bridges, water supply and service roads. The projects also involved the compilation and documentation of initial data models. With the models, VR Track is able to reuse the initial data much more efficiently in the subsequent design stages.

VR Track's measurement unit is an expert in the process concerning track measurements and work machinery automation. During the year, the machine control models produced on the basis of the plans were used at a number of sites for the construction of different types of surfaces, such as slopes and trenches.

Machine control has generated substantial savings in the projects, while at the same time, the quality of the work has improved. In the future, work machinery automation can also be used in the supply of quality and compliance data.

An award-winning thesis will also benefit the sector

Design and use of infrastructure models is not limited to a single business area. In April 2014, as a result of close collaboration between design and construction, Antti Kiviniemi was able to complete his thesis on the requirements for BIM-based mass calculation in railway construction. The thesis provides an extensive overview of the practices that make the planning of tender calculations and production more efficient and profitable.

It also discusses the current state and development needs of data modelling. The results of the work were extensively used in the updating of the rail structure section of the nomenclature in the general quality requirements for infrastructure construction (InfraRYL). In August 2014, the author Antti Kiviniemi received an award for the best thesis in the infrastructure sector.