KiwiRail has signed a $3 million deal with IBM to help get trains running on time.
The Maximo asset management system uses GPS and real-time data. IBM says it will improve maintenance, prevent delays and keep the rail network on track.
It will be based on a complete inventory of assets, from tracks and tunnels to signalling boxes.
KiwiRail says the system will allow it to stop problems before they start.
Network manager Rick van Barneveld says all front-line personnel will have a device similar to an iPad, to check maintenance history and other data instantly, and report potential problems.
KiwiRail has 4000km of track and bridges.
IBM says Maximo will boost the speed, safety and reliability of services.
New Zealand sales manager Phil Patton says Maximo is used extensively in rail systems all over the world, from Amtrak in North America to London's Underground.
Netherlands Railways has improved efficiency by 6%, saving about 20 million euros a year.