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Frazer-Nash and University of Hull take home RIA innovation prize for RSSB REPAIR project

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Frazer-Nash, with the University of Hull's Logistics Institute, has been awarded the RIA’s ‘Unlocking Innovation’ RISE Award.

Frazer-Nash Consultancy, with the University of Hull's Logistics Institute, was awarded the Railway Industry Association’s (RIA’s) Rail Industry Supplier Excellence (RISE) ‘Unlocking Innovation’ Award at a virtual ceremony on 4 November.

The award recognised the innovative nature of the two organisations’ Rapid Evaluation and Planning Analysis Infrastructure for Railways (REPAIR) project. The work is being supported by rail research body RSSB, as part of its Data Sandbox+ initiative, which is co-funded by Network Rail. The REPAIR project is examining how data analytics and machine learning techniques can offer new ways of predicting, and mitigating, the propagation of delays on the freight network.

Frazer-Nash’s Chris G Jones, who is managing the work, said:

“I’d like to thank the RIA, and sponsors Transmission Dynamics, for this award, which  is exploring how new technologies can offer a real opportunity to address some of the challenges faced by the rail sector, driving efficiencies and empowering decision making.

“It’s an enormous pleasure to be working on such an exciting project with our colleagues at the University of Hull’s Logistics Institute; and, with our advisory board which is made up of the biggest freight operating companies in the UK. Of course, it wouldn’t be possible without the forward thinking approach of the RSSB and Network Rail – I’d like to extend my thanks and congratulations to the team, and to all those involved in making the REPAIR project possible.”

Amar Ramudhin, Director of the Logistics Institute said:

“We are very pleased and grateful to the RIA for recognising the innovative nature of our work with Frazer-Nash. NR+ is the first geospatial digital platform of UK rail infrastructure. It allows for planning of routes. Combined with REPAIR’s machine learning algorithms, planners can predict and visualise delay propagation. Alternative routing strategies can be quickly analysed to mitigate impact.

“We are thankful to the RSSB for funding this project and to Network Rail for their continued support of the NR+ platform.”

Giulia Lorenzini, Senior Partnership and Grants Manager at RSSB said:

“RSSB is excited to be part of this well-deserved Frazer-Nash and University of Hull success story. The REPAIR project’s innovative use of machine learning to predict delays and identify mitigations presents a game changing advance in rail freight planning.

“We are pleased to have been a conduit that made this innovation possible, together with Network Rail. REPAIR represents what we aimed to achieve with Data Sandbox+, i.e. to demonstrate that by unlocking data, harnessing the right intellectual capability, and with the invaluable support of industry, it is possible to leverage data insights and produce novel outputs. This is just one example from a wider portfolio of RSSB research and innovation that is focused on delivering benefits to the freight community, which is an important contributor to the GB economy and plays a big part in reducing congestion and carbon emissions.”

The RISE Awards are open to all RIA members and aim to celebrate their contribution to the UK rail supply sector across a number of areas including innovation, exports, environment and sustainability, safety and wellbeing, and equality, diversity and inclusion.

Read more about our REPAIR project in our news story: ‘Frazer-Nash and University of Hull undertaking RSSB project to examine techniques for predicting and mitigating rail freight network delays’.