Allwyn modernizes Third Party Property Access Process for a US Railway Transportation Company

A leading railway transportation service provider in the US owns and manages vast real estate assets nationwide, including stations, tracks, and surrounding properties. To facilitate efficient operations, third-party entities such as utility companies often require access to the railway property for various activities, such as laying new infrastructure. However, the existing approach to managing these access requests relied heavily on manual processes, utilizing disparate tools like Power Apps, email, and spreadsheets. Recognizing the inefficiencies inherent in this ad hoc system, the US Railway Transportation Company embarked on a project to develop a modern application solution, aiming to streamline and centralize the third-party property access process.

Key Challenges:

  • Manual and Inefficient Processes: The existing application and permitting process was largely manual, leading to inefficiencies and delays, with applications for access taking months to process.
  • Legacy System Limitations: The legacy system lacked dynamic functionality, relied on static application pages, and offered no reporting or tracking capabilities.
  • Integration Void: Being a heavily manual process there was zero technology or data integration to the client's systems or industry technology platforms adding delays and data inaccuracies due to all of it being manually entered/managed.
  • Complexities: The client sought consultation on effectively automating processes using Appian, the chosen platform for the project.

Our Solution:

The scope of the project included the development of a public portal housing a dynamic application for third parties to submit applications for pipe and wire access on Railway property. Key features of the solution encompassed an end-to-end workflow supporting third-party application review, agreement signing facilitated by integration with DocuSign, and permitting processes. Additionally, integrations with ArcGIS and multiple automation modules were implemented to streamline data exchange and minimize manual efforts for the client's Real Estate Business Line Leads.


  • Customer and End-User Benefits: The project aimed to achieve several key success measures, including:
    • Reducing Approval Subprocess Time: The goal was achieved reducing the time to execute the approval subprocess to 30 days or less from the previous range of 2-3 months.
    • Decreasing Manual Administrative Work: A 20% reduction in the manual administrative work required by all parties involved in the property access process.
    • Error Monitoring and Remediation: Improved workflow standardization enabling process monitoring to ensure data or processing step errors were minimized.
    • Increased Revenue Stream: Increased revenue by more than 10% by increasing the team’s processing capacity via automated and streamlined permit processes platform.  
  • People/Process/Technology Improvement: The project enhanced application processing efficiency with the teams using a user-friendly work-flow technology.  
  • Accelerated Solution: A key value proposition was developing and implementing a streamlined, innovative, and integrated solution in under 6 months to address Client's specific needs.
  • Exceptional Achievements: Platform build success led to other teams supporting other third-parties requiring Railway property access to consider a similar solution for a similar need within their business unit.

Future Initiatives:

The US Railway Transportation Company's forward-looking approach includes plans to expand the scope of the application beyond its initial implementation. Specifically, the intention is to broaden the application's reach to encompass other groups within the client's Real Estate division. This expansion signifies the success and versatility of the application in addressing diverse needs within the client's real estate management operations. By extending the application's functionality to additional groups, our client aims to achieve even greater efficiencies, collaboration, and standardization across its real estate processes. This strategic initiative underscores the project's value in not only meeting current requirements but also paving the way for future enhancements and organizational advancement.

The collaboration between the US Railway Transportation Company and our Appian development team resulted in the successful modernization of the third-party property access process. By leveraging Appian's capabilities and adopting agile development practices, our client now possesses a robust, 508 compliant, centralized application that significantly enhances efficiency, transparency, and collaboration in managing property access requests. By reducing approval subprocess times, minimizing manual administrative work, ensuring error-free processes, and enhancing revenue-generating opportunities, the project delivered tangible benefits to both the US Railway Transportation Company and its end-users. With future expansions envisioned, the project sets a precedent for ongoing innovation and optimization within the client's real estate management operations.

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