Design for an integrated knowledge management policy for railway maintenance: An industrial synopsis

Yawar Abbas*, Alberto Martinetti

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleAcademicpeer-review

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The European rail industry has undergone a shift in its overall knowledge management (KM) policy. Since liberalisation in the 1990s, rail operators have moved from obtaining the right train for the organisation to working with product manufacturers and infrastructure managers to procure new trains. In the past, maintenance engineers and technicians had more control over the design and procurement of trains. The new approach stresses more on co-designing to ensure that purchased trains can be adequately maintained and on the long-term effectiveness of maintenance plans. This requires new ways to train maintenance personnel based on prescribed (rather than internally developed) maintenance plans and establishing new roles and responsibilities. Combined with retiring experienced personnel, prevailing silo mentality culture and increasing train digitisation, this calls for designing a more efficient KM system to manage maintenance-related information.

This paper examines current practices and KM systems used within the Netherlands Railways maintenance department and identifies key challenges for organisational learning. Based on the literature review and practical insights, the authors propose a refined design of an integrated KM policy for designing maintenance-related KM systems. The proposed insights can bridge the scientific gap on how to approach KM research problems from the practical maintenance world.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)521-526
Number of pages6
JournalProcedia CIRP
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Event33rd CIRP Design Conference 2023 - Sydney , Australia
Duration: 17 May 202319 May 2023
Conference number: 33


  • Integrated Knowledge policy
  • Knowledge management,
  • Maintenance operations
  • Railways


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