The railway operates on a fixed timetable and plan and is unable to rapidly respond to changes in demand or recover quickly from disruption. In the main this lack of flexibility is due to a disconnect between train planning, traffic management and stock and crew systems. This has a significant impact on the performance of the railways.
We conducted a piece of work to explore the system-wide challenges underlying the delivery of a dynamic timetabling capability to the railway industry and developed a scope of works for a possible innovation competition to address the challenge. We engaged with a wide range of stakeholders from across the rail industry and other sectors (e.g. air traffic control) to provide a comprehensive review of the approaches adopted and the technologies available.
We provided an impartial and expert review of current railway capability, areas for improvement and the competencies required to enable the UK railway industry to make changes to the working timetable in real/near-real time.
Our work enabled the client to move quickly forward with a competition launch targeted at improving very short-term timetable planning in the GB railway.