RFG webinar Innovation part 2: Successes of the data-driven approach

The second session in our Innovation series looked at data: do we generate useful data? Do we use it effectively? What are the successes of a data-driven approach?

Mike Garratt of MDS Transmodal outlined how his consultancy has used its GB Freight Model to develop NR’s rail freight forecasts and to then use that model’s internal logic to attach a value to each individual freight train based on DfT guidelines.

He explained that by summing user and non-user costs/benefits, the value of each train can be estimated and related to the cost of network interventions.

This will enable the value of interventions that create additional capacity for otherwise suppressed freight demand to be more realistically quantified and facilitate comparison with the value of existing passenger services.

Martin Gleadow, Head of IT & Technical Innovation, 3Squared, talked about the company’s new Path Planner solution, which it has developed with Rail Operations Group and Freightliner, with funding from RSSB’s Dynamic Train Planning Competition.

This allows freight operators to carry out very short-term planning (VSTP) digitally and more effectively. The software identifies and capitalises on the white space available on a route. As the modal shift debate continues, this is especially pertinent to operators now as it enables the network to be used to maximum efficiency and reduce the risk of paths going unused, thus increasing overall network efficiency.

Mark Gadsby, Director, Fishbone Solutions, talked about leveraging a data-driven approach. This is directed around effective usage of information the industry already collects to promote environmentally conscious planning and infrastructure usage, whilst simultaneously driving economic benefits to the UK rail network.

He explained that Headcode Valuation evaluated economic benefit provided by each train on the UK network to change the current operational prioritisation of services in the timetable in real time.

To see the full webinar, visit Innovation II webinar