A consortium made up of Sheffield-based railway technology company 3Squared and operators Rail Operations Group and Freightliner has won government funding to develop an innovative solution to help rail freight plan short term paths more effectively.
Currently, a sizeable proportion of freight train schedules, which are in the Working Time Table, are either unused or cancelled.
The consortium’s Dynamic Freight Capacity Management (DFCM) solution will provide train planners with a historical record of train movements, allowing schedules which are frequently cancelled or part-used to be quickly identified and then bid for.
As a result of the tool being able to identify unused paths, knock-on delays to scheduled services will be reduced, improving punctuality for both passenger and freight operators.
Rail Operations Group and Freightliner are due to pilot the system later in the year and it is hoped that if the reliability of paths improves and the time taken to produce and submit an application decreases then it could be rolled out across the industry in the future.