More than 40 years I have worked for the Dutch railways. As an engineer, a maintenance manager and as a manager of a staff group. After privatizing of the infra organization I contributed to the development of the asset management system as an internal consultant and project leader. It shaped my vision and knowledge about rail transport and rail infrastructure. Today I am an expert in the field of asset management, outsourcing of maintenance, modelling costs & performance, and benchmarking. I like to share my knowledge and experience with other infrastructure managers, both inside and outside the Netherlands, through the book I wrote about the asset management system at ProRail, as an advisor and as a speaker.
The English standard PAS 55 has shaped my vision on asset management: “Asset management is the set of systematic and coordinated activities through which an organization optimally and sustainably manages its assets and asset systems and their coherent performance, risks and expenses over the entire life cycle, with the aim of implement the strategic plan of the organization in accordance with the requirements and wishes of the stakeholders”. The source and continuous factor of asset management in the railways lies within the maintenance & renewal organization, but it is much more than that. Keywords that distinguish asset management from maintenance & renewal are: risk, life cycle and stakeholders. The power of asset management lies in the full focus of controlling the causes of non-performance, ie performance risks, in optimizing performance & costs over the entire life cycle and on realizing the requirements and wishes of the stakeholders. The development of an asset management system at ProRail has resulted in een considerable improvement of railway performance in the Netherlands within 10 years: >40% decrease of dis-punctuality, >20% decrease of infra failures, increase of safety, and all against decreasing maintenance costs.