RSSB launches a £500,000 competition to improve rail services using data-driven solutions
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RSSB has launched a call for research to improve service reliability, capacity and punctuality in the rail industry using data-driven solutions.

The competition, Data Sandbox: Improving Network Performance, launched via the Rail Research UK Association (RRUKA), is open to academic-led consortia, who are encouraged to work with industry partners to develop innovative solutions to key network performance challenges.

The feasibility studies funded through this call will look at how industry data can be used and analysed to improve network operational performance, with the aim of developing tools that can support and optimise performance management. This will allow reporting processes to be streamlined so that data analysis can provide more robust information, offer operational savings for Network Rail and the operators, and ultimately improve the experience of rail customers.

Dominic Medway, Operational Performance and Analysis Manager, Network Rail, said:

The rail industry is data-rich, but we can at times struggle to get the best value from this data to drive improvements in train performance and inform our investment decisions. This RSSB initiative offers the opportunity to build relationships outside of the railway and introduce new ways of thinking to address our challenges.

More value from data and services timed to the second are two of the key capabilities derived from the Rail Technical Strategy that the competition seeks to address.

To give interested bidders a guide to what data the industry collects, this research call has made sample datasets available. The information, in conjunction with openly available industry data, will provide a sandbox environment that researchers can access and use to develop their innovative solutions.

To find out more about the competition, go to the Data Sandbox webinar hub  External link

For any questions, please email:

The deadline to submit proposals is 22 December at 1700hrs. The winning proposals will be announced in early February 2018.

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