Data Sandbox+: New Opportunities for Industry and Innovators to Work Together

Making more value from data is a key enabler for better network performance.

The Data Sandbox+ research competition builds on the success of the original ‘Data Sandbox’ initiative that RSSB launched in 2017. This funded five feasibility studies on how data can be used in novel ways to support performance improvements.

Through the Data Sandbox+, which RSSB is funding in collaboration with Network Rail’s R&D, we are making £1.3m available to fund demonstrator projects that build on the work that has been already carried out, or be feasibility studies which propose new approaches and ideas.

Proposals for innovative data-driven solutions to the following key operational performance challenges are invited:

  • Predicting and minimising reactionary delays
  • Understanding train movements
  • Reducing dwell time variations
  • Management of disruptions
  • Better measuring and understanding performance and delays
  • Other challenges, as identified by relevant owners (such as Network Rail or passenger and freight operators)

Data Sandbox+ builds on the repository of data that was made available for the original competition and includes new and refreshed content. If you are a passenger train or freight operator, or any other organisation, and would like to get involved by sharing data samples to enhance the repository and supporting future research, please get in touch.

The first round of the competition led to the funding of three demonstrator projects and one feasibility study, which are due to start in November 2019:

  • “Real time prediction and mitigation of disruption through personalised passenger communications”, led by Zipabout and the University of Birmingham, in collaboration with LNER
  • “Rail performance modelling for strategic decision making”, led by Risk Solutions, in collaboration with City University, Heriott-Watt University, University of Southampton, Steer and Tracsis
  • “IntelliDoorDwell”, led by Porterbrook in collaboration with ScotRail, University of Southampton and Elastacloud
  • “Data-driven robust timetabling”, led by the University of Southampton, in collaboration with Network Rail and Bellvedi/Tracsis

The second round is now open and will close on 6 December 2019. 

For more information about the competition visit the Data Sandbox+ hub or contact


Research competition: Data Sandbox+
Competition notes
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Giulia Lorenzini
Tel: 020 3142 5434
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