Improving Infrastructure: Digital Twins Takes Center Stage

By Wasay Rashid

Company and Product News

At Bentley Systems’ annual Year in Infrastructure conference, held in October in Singapore, stakeholders made a case for using comprehensive software, digital twins, and cloud services to advance the design, construction and operations of large infrastructure projects.

The conference, a prestigious annual gathering of top decision-makers and relevant stakeholders, recognizes and celebrates contributions made to the infrastructure sector by accomplished individuals. The conference featured keynote speakers, industry forums, summits, a technology pavilion, and networking opportunities. ARC analysts served as jury members to evaluate projects and ask questions.

The industry forums brought together thought leaders and infrastructure professionals to discuss industry best practices and advances in the technology that will change our industries. These forums featured the practical application of Bentley solutions. The infrastructure business is booming as the world becomes more urbanized and the need to maintain systems grows. According ARC’s research, it will take trillions of dollars of investments to prepare for mass urbanization, as existing cities are incapable of hosting the growing number of citizens.

Digital Twins

Rail and Transit

Powerful software is required to improve infrastructure and benefit users. Bentley works with Siemens Mobility on railway industry projects. I see a natural alliance in terms of rail asset management between both parties and other rail supply industry leaders. It is important for the company to keep expanding and work with other leaders. Europe and Asia are currently the best markets to explore and to venture into new strategic alliances. As far as the railways as an industry is concerned, there is much work to be completed in all aspects of efficiency and infrastructure.

Bentley’s OpenRail connected data environment (CDE) is a set of cloud-provisioned services that enables organizations to access and manage consistent, reliable and accurate information. This ensures that the potential of the building information model (BIM) is realized by multidiscipline digital engineering models during a project to provide insight and support decision-making processes with higher accuracy. OpenRail takes a holistic approach that allows users to integrate a system’s engineering methodology across the lifecycle. 

For linear and non-linear assets, operational analytics offers the potential to use near real-time data from sensors to alert when a threshold for either performance or condition is reaching a critical value. Using information stored in the CDE, users can further examine the data, look at maintenance records or prior history of the assets. This allows to identify the corrective measures that have been implemented previously in failure modes or to review suggested solutions. This helps the user to gain insight and select the right course of action or create work orders and eventually update and upload them to the enterprise asset management system. 

Digital Co-ventures with Siemens

Civil design software for rail network was displayed and explained at the conference. One of the co-ventures featured was the OpenRail-Entegro Train Simulator, which combines Siemens Entegro and Automatic Train Control Simulation with Bentley’s ContextCapture, OpenRail ConceptStation, OpenRail Designer, and LumenRT for rail operations digital twins.


The annual awards program honors the work of Bentley users advancing design, construction, and operations of infrastructure throughout the world. In the category of Rail and Transit, the award for Digital Twins in Infrastructure went to Italferr S.p.A for the AV/AC highspeed rail link that connects Naples and Bari in Southern Italy.

The rail project uses as connected data environment (CDE) ProjectWise (document management) configured specifically for rail systems engineering workflows. During the project delivery phase, ProjectWise facilitated the collaboration among distributed engineering teams, coordinated structured workflows, and provided project visibility. Using OpenRail and OpenRoads as designer software to create the entire BIM model of the infrastructure, all the involved designers were able to develop and analyze every aspect of this complicated project identifying problem areas before making decisions.


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