Transpennine Route Upgrade

Digitising possessions with eviFile’s progressive assurance

Executive Summary

Network Rail and the TRU Alliance are working with eviFile to power their digital project management and progressive assurance approach for the multi billion Transpennine Route Upgrade (TRU) programme.

To complete the works successfully within the scheduled time and budget, eviFile has been working in close collaboration with Network Rail and the TRU Alliance partners to align its real-time Field-to-Control Room insight solution to overhaul railway possession activities. This programme wide solution includes tracking completions management, quantities and volumes as well as progress on site.

The contract was awarded following a successful pilot that improved project efficiency by over 20% and reduced hours spent in possessions reporting by over 50%. It is designed to provide a rolling programme of digitalisation, with the aim of providing the East, West and Central delivery teams with a real time view on programme progress.


The Transpennine Route Upgrade to the route between York and Manchester – via Leeds and Huddersfield, transported 29 million passengers between 23 stations from 2019-2020. Prior to the upgrade, trains on this route were often slow, crowded and infrequent leading to an unsatisfactory experience for customers, so upgrading the 122km route between these cities with a low-pollution, low-carbon emission solution was essential.

The upgrade project which is being overseen by Network Rail, the TRU West Alliance, and the TRU East Alliance will include full electrification between Manchester and York, upgraded signalling to increase tracks from two to four in places, as well as other upgrades which will improve line speed – resulting in more frequent and shorter journeys for passengers.

The Challenge

The Transpennine Route’is heavily used, but it’s slow and lacks capacity and its difficult terrain and poor access roads make improving the route challenging and very disruptive.

The scale of the project means that there will be planned disruptions to train services to enable work to be carried out using weekend and holiday closures.

Construction work being delivered on the operational railway with 106 worksites in every 52 weeks that are considered "Highly Disruptive" and across the lifetime of TRU means there are likely to be over 400 blockades longer than 27 hours.

However, Network Rail is committed to keeping passengers moving on a train as often as possible, on time and in comfort as a key priority. Therefore, handing back the railway on time, after weekend engineering works, is of vital importance so that passengers can make their journeys as planned. Working during nights and bank holidays minimises disruption to the network but is a complex activity with significant risks, including stress and fatigue.

TRU needed to have a real-time view on where these works are against the plan, hour-by-hour to allow decision makers to manage productivity and interventions, removing duplication of reporting resulting in construction sites that are safer, more efficient and focused on ensuring outcomes for passengers.

The Solution

Moving from traditional processes to a digital approach is a huge cultural shift for the rail industry. Automating possession management streamlines data and communications from the job site, to form a single source of the truth, while providing crucial metrics that enable agile decision-making immediately.
eviFile tracks volumes and quantities data that feeds RAG reporting and dashboards on a half hourly schedule
Rolling out eviFile across the entire TRU Programme demonstrated that the industry has learnt lessons from other major projects, including Crossrail, and the Programme has taken action to solidify its completions strategy right from the outset.

By using eviFile, engineers and site managers are able to collect and process data in a clear, concise way, which further facilitates the use of business intelligence to feed the management team the information they require without any manual intervention.

In the first 18 months of eviFile’s deployment,TRU’s workforce productivity has increased by up to 20% through better data capture, reporting, quality and performance tracking. Saving an average of 2.5 hours in each 24 hours of the possession – coming from quicker and better-informed decisions, faster management of defects and real-time visibility of the impact on the programme.

eviFile has delivered over 100 possessions to date, with this number set to increase dramatically as the new contract enables over 1200 users to manage all work digitally.
Realtime tactical milestone report. Gold, Silver and Bronze dashboards are accessible for relevant stakeholders
Furthermore, eviFile was able to provide better project control to improve construction performance through increased transparency for the TRU programme. For the first time, clients, Alliances and primary contractors can track all works and activities in real-time, hour-by-hour, from anywhere.

Over the course of the pilot program, engagement with the solution continued to be high, resulting in significant reductions in time, which provided a clear return on investment (ROI) for TRU.

By using the eviFile digital platform, the large-scale TRU programme was able to centralise and consolidate all data across regions, incorporating data from other platforms and workstreams to provide real-time data into PowerBI to deliver completion.

For future projects, in addition to completions management for every discipline, eviFile will be deployed to provide:
  • Real time possessions and blockade reporting
  • Daily shift reporting and time management
  • Close Calls data capture
  • A single solution for Quality Check Sheets and Inspection & Test Plan (ITP) management for all the contractors working across the TRU footprint.


  • Reduction in stress and fatigue by avoiding duplication and unnecessary communication between multiple stakeholders
  • More effective decision-making due to all relevant information in a single place
  • Better collaboration between alliance partners, the HQ control room and Network Rail
  • Increased productivity by 5% through better visibility, quality and performance tracking and clarity on forecasting
  • Live H&S tracking of any accidents and close calls, allowing for analysis of recurring issues and avoidance on future projects

Interested in discovering how eviFile can improve productivity and ensure compliance for your upcoming rail projects?

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