PREPAReD: Predicting, Preventing, and Analysing Rail Delays


A Department for Transport Technology Research Innovation Grant (TTRIG). Amount: £25,000


September to December 2015


It is difficult to predict how delays or other sudden changes to scheduled operations can propagate through the rail network. Failure to anticipate or pre-empt the effects of a delay can lead to further delays, disruptions to staff and rolling-stock availability, and can have an obvious impact on passenger satisfaction.
PREPAReD will develop a mechanism to computationally model the impact of such changes. The novelty of this work is that these models will be generated automatically, using the Network Rail data feeds to provide the models with “live” information.
The PREPAReD project will investigate two usages of these models. It will explore the scenario where, once a delay has occurred, the model can be used to predict further delays that might occur ahead of time. It will also plug in to existing tools to create more systematic analyses of the rail network, to identify vulnerable areas and to investigate the effects of changes to the network.
The final system will be made openly available as an open source software framework, with a permissive license to encourage widespread use. It will also be linked to a web-service, to enable its use over the internet, circumventing any need to install it and run it locally.


N Walkinshaw (PI), E Tuosto

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