Network Rail’s new £4m pilot project has seen the integration of their traffic management system with GWR’s crew and stock resource management system.
A first for the UK rail industry, the pilot project is an excellent example of prioritising passenger and freight users by integrating Worldline’s crew and stock software ‘Intergrale’ with railway traffic management system ‘Luminate’ developed by Resonate.
The innovative pilot has been funded by Network Rail and the Department for Transport’s (DfT) National Productivity Investment Fund and will be trialed on Network Rail’s Western route between Paddington and Bristol, Reading and Oxford.
The benefits of the scheme will also see positive impact right through Great Western Railway’s (GWR) rail services on the Western route from Paddington to Penzance, including services in Devon, Cornwall, Oxfordshire, Thames Valley, the Cotswolds, Wiltshire and South Wales.
‘Luminate’ was first used on Network Rail’s Western route during 2018, and its integration with ‘Intergrale’ for the pilot will bring real-time information into one place allowing Network Rail and GWR teams to have the same view of the train plan and allocation of rolling stock and crew within one system.
Whether services are running on time or delayed, the combination of systems will make it much easier to discover resource conflicts and service shortfalls. The use of visual indications and data sharing used in the pilot will empower the collaborative working of both Network Rail and GWR teams to manage and deliver train stock and services throughout the Western Route.
When the pilot completes in February 2022 the results will be reviewed and shared with the rail industry. A second stage will follow on from the project will begin in April 2022 and will see the introduction of a Connected Driver Advisory System (CDAS), which will provide live information to drivers in the cabs of Class 387 and 802 GWR trains and will enable them to receive messages, letting them know of changes to either their schedule or route as well as the stations to call at.
Mike Gallop, Network Rail Western route and strategic operations director, said: “Our priority is to welcome passengers back to the railway, and to do this we need to provide a reliable service. I’m delighted that we’re showing industry leadership to deliver this innovative and ground-breaking project which will help deliver on this priority. The way the systems from Network Rail and GWR work together to manage operational services as well trains and crew is a first in the UK.
“This project is an example of the sort of cross-industry developments that I would like to see more of. It has been delivered quickly, building on existing technology, and used the expertise and skills of all the project partners. I expect passengers to see the benefits as we support control and signaller teams in their decision-making, by providing a more complete picture of current train operations that will deliver more reliable services.
“Thanks to the Department for Transport for supporting this project in its development.”
James Bain, CEO Worldline UK&I and Chair of Rail Data Council, said: “Time is the one thing it is impossible to buy more of. Nothing is more precious, and it is our responsibility to work together to demonstrate we respect customers’ time, something this project facilitates through the open exchange of data.
“The Williams-Shapps Plan is a clarion call to industry to make rail better and we’re proud to be part of a meaningful, practical industry first that’s making that happen, by connecting data to make sure trains have a fighting chance of running on time.
“The open exchange of data is already used in industries and markets across the world to the benefit of consumer and now we’re delivering that for the Great Britain’s railways to improve the customer experience against fierce competition and a fight for recovery.”
Anna Ince, Chief Executive Officer of Resonate, said: “We have been working collaboratively with Network Rail Western Route to ensure that our Luminate Traffic Management System helps improve performance.
“This collaboration is now extended to GWR and Worldline, and through the open data exchange the solution will empower both Network Rail and Great Western people to manage and deliver each and every train service, each and every day with more confidence that the decisions they take are the right ones for the customer.”
GWR Performance Director, Barry Milsom, said: “We’ve been really impressed by the pilot in the early stages of the roll-out. For the first time we have a single standardised system between the train operator and Network Rail that helps us identify all train performance risks in one place.
“Ultimately, we hope this will mean a more punctual, reliable service for customers. We are looking forward to seeing the results of this pilot scheme next year which will inform our next steps.”