Here’s Why Investors are Starting to Pay Attention to Infrastructure Digital Twins

By Steve Cockerell, Industry Marketing Director, Rail & Transit, Bentley Systems

Continuing from the previous post about Here’s Why Investors are Starting to Pay Attention to Infrastructure Digital Twins

Another example of a publicly funded mega-project that can serve as a catalyst for a city-level digital twin, is Cross River Rail in Brisbane, Australia. The Cross River Rail project is a 10.2-kilometer section of rail that includes 5.9 kilometers of a tunnel under the Brisbane River, 6 new stations – 4 underground and 2 on the surface, plus upgrades to 6 existing stations, all aimed at making public transport more attractive and removing existing bottlenecks in Brisbane’s public transport.

The AUD $5.4 billion project, which started construction in 2019 and is due to be operational by 2025, is already unlocking future investment in residential and commercial properties and was a key component of the City of Brisbane’s successful bid to host the 2032 Summer Olympics, given its alignment with the International Olympic Committee’s criteria for having the games blend in with, and be catalytic to, the growth of host cities versus a one-off two-week event.

Multi-environment digital twins that continually communicate with one another are at the heart of the project ‘digital network approach’, and its benefits extend beyond digital engineering to provide a better understanding of the interconnected nature of proposed assets with associated infrastructure within and beyond station environs. Andrew Curthoys, digital delivery manager at Cross River Rail comments “they (digital twins) allow us to plan for the life of the project, cast forward to what it will be like, with the advantage of a full digital representation that can be used for additional tasks including the ongoing operations and maintenance.”

Cross River Rail’s CEO Graeme Newton expects that in comparison to the benefits digital twins provide, the cost of creating and maintaining them is insignificant and that investment in digital twin technology will just become the norm. Newton believes future owner-operators will ask “What have been the (data) inputs into all of these things? How are you maintaining the standard you said you would? How do we know that safety is paramount? The digital twin means it is forever captured and forever represented and is forever traceable.”

The problems being handled by digital twins in Singapore and Brisbane are comparable to those that are affecting or will soon impact the UK, but the technology has additional applications. For example, the Grenfell Tower catastrophe has refocused government and regulators on the safety of higher-risk structures, while national and international banks must explain the effect of their investments against economic, social, and environmental (ESG) criteria.

The banking community, as important investors, has a significant chance to reap the benefits of digital twins by employing them to provide value, follow sustainability objectives, attract new investments, and better manage risk.

More in the next post about Here’s Why Investors are Starting to Pay Attention to Infrastructure Digital Twins…

This article was republished with prior written permission from Bentley Systems.

(Source: Cockerell, Steve. “Here’s Why Investors Are Starting to Pay Attention to Infrastructure Digital Twins.” Bentley Blog, Bentley Systems, 6 Sept. 2022,

(Image Source: Adapted from the European Train Control System (ETCS), Cross River Rail Delivery Authority)

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About Bentley

Bentley Systems (NASDAQ: BSY) is the infrastructure engineering software company. We provide innovative software to advance the world’s infrastructure — sustaining both the global economy and environment. Our industry-leading software solutions are used by professionals and organizations of every size for the design, construction, and operations of roads and bridges, rail and transit, water and wastewater, public works and utilities, buildings and campuses, mining, and industrial facilities. Our offerings include MicroStation-based applications for modeling and simulation, ProjectWise for project delivery, AssetWise for asset and network performance, Seequent’s leading geoprofessional software portfolio, and the iTwin platform for infrastructure digital twins. Bentley Systems employs more than 4,500 colleagues and generates annual revenues of approximately $1 billion in 186 countries.

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