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Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation Engineering Facility Information System

Established in 1982, the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC) is a public corporation providing high quality mass transport services in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. In addition to its core rail services, the Corporation designs and develops new railways and is active in property development and related commercial activities.

Background

Since 1998, the Corporation has undertaken the constructions of West Rail, three East Rail Extensions and Kowloon Southern Link. The total cost of all these projects amounts to over HK$80 billion.

When the construction of a new railway line approaches completion, the Corporation receives large quantities of as-built drawings and engineering documents that will be needed for the operation and maintenance of the railway from different contractors. The task to systematically collect and organize these drawings and documents is very tedious, labour-intensive and error-prone without the support of a computerized system. Worse still, the task will seriously hamper the Corporation ability to deliver safe and reliable railway services to the public. To achieve this objective, GIS is the most suitable tool to record, verify and retrieve the facilities scattered in different geographical locations along the railways. After an open tendering process in 2002, SuperMap was selected as the platform for developing the Engineering Facilities Information System (EFIS) because of its superior technology, high performance and reasonable price.

System Overview

EFIS is a knowledge management platform supporting the entire life-cycle of railways planning, design, construction, operation and maintenance. It is the life-blood of design and maintenance engineers to enable them to access the accurate and up-to-date facility drawings and technical data, such as location, specification, facility model and maintenance manual of the newly constructed railway lines in the most efficient manner.

EFIS consists of two main functional modules, namely the Data Preparation Module and the Web Viewing Module.

Data Preparation Module

This module enables users to define and maintain engineering facilities, edit MicroStation drawings, and convert them into SuperMap formats in order to build up a map based publishing output.

This figure shows the interface of the log management function which the users logon.

Web Viewing Module

EFIS offers a number of user-friendly ways for engineers to retrieve their desired facility information. This includes Web View search by navigating the pre-organized the facility categories and locations; SQL enquiry by matching the facility properties; and spatial search powered by SuperMap GIS technology to locate facilities within a user defined area on a map. The engineers can further turn on / off the facilities to be displayed on the map.

Current Status

EFIS is currently used in West Rail and East Rail Extensions. Nearly 2,000 facility types, more than 2,300 documents and 94,000 drawings are available for on-line access by different departmental users. The data volume continues to grow with as-built drawings and documents of the East Rail Extensions being added to the system.

Way Forward

Kowloon Southern Link is under construction and will be completed in 2009. To deploy EFIS to this new railway line, a number of SuperMap new features may enhance EFIS capabilities for this purpose:

The integration with Microsoft .Net technology makes the development of mobile solution easier. The engineers can then use their PDAs to retrieve engineering information on site instantly.
Since the data volume of EFIS will increase substantially, quick display of mass map data becomes a must in zoom in / out and panning operations. It is expected that the new compression technology can further improve the performance.
The enhanced network analysis of SuperMap may help EFIS to implement the optimal path analysis and find out the closest facility in a particular location.


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