Tracsis/Bellvedi wins the RSSB’s Dynamic Train Planning Competition!

10 June 20

Over the coming months, the UK will begin to navigate the ‘new normal’ as Covid-19 lockdown measures are eased. The RSSB are seeking innovative answers to the performance challenges faced by the UK Rail Industry as the public eventually begins to rely, once again, on rail as a main mode of transport.

A train waiting at a station platform

As the UK economy restarts passenger numbers are expected to increase gradually. The RSSB is leading the way in helping operators ensure that they can run trains on-time, while providing the safest and most reliable service to customers. To this end, it is funding ten innovative data-focussed projects to help the industry explore using data to improve performance and manage short term planning more efficiently.

Tracsis/Bellvedi is pleased to announce it has been successful in winning the lead role on one of these innovative projects – Dynamic Train Planning. In conjunction with Southeastern and the Network Rail Southern Region & Western Route: the Tracsis/Bellvedi team will focus on enabling electronic transfer of ‘Very Short Term Planning’ (VSTP) requests via a national validation layer to allow VSTP requesters to efficiently create and pass proposed schedules to the Network Rail control teams.

VSTP covers the need to change one or more train services at very short notice, perhaps on the day in question or over the next 48 hours. The improvements should provide the foundation for more flexible and dynamic timetables, where available capacity can be adjusted to meet the changes in demand.

An operator using a control system

Benefits of the outcomes of the Dynamic Train Planning project will include:

  • More reliable and consistent service for passengers.

  • the ability for freight to plan and deliver a more reactive service.

  • a reduced workload for operators and controllers.

  • a step towards adaptable and dynamic on-demand contingency plans and mechanisms for improving and testing timetables.

Welcoming the research, Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said:

‘While the current guidance means people should not be using our railways wherever possible, work must continue to build a more reliable and punctual service for the future. Harnessing data and new technology is crucial to modernise and improve our transport network, and we are determined to drive innovation through competitions like this. These projects will help the industry tackle bottlenecks, delays and improve accessibility, and I look forward to seeing the crucial role they can play in improving journeys for passengers.’

Luisa Moisio, R&D Programme Director, RSSB:

The railway has never experienced the challenges of today: large parts of the network operating close to capacity and some at full capacity; demanding timetable promises to meet; restricted maintenance schedules; limited resources and lots of public pressure to deliver. RSSB is proud to be supporting the industry by funding several research and innovation projects to progress new ideas to improve network performance and train planning. Industry needs to move closer to a future in which agile and robust train planning is used to make optimal use of the capacity and deliver the best service to our customers.’

For more information on how Tracsis’ Timetable Planning and other performance improvement solutions can assist your business, please contact us today at