High risk routes

Better planning through identifying train delay hot spots

Rail timetable analysis: Where in the rail network are the highest risks of long delays?

  • The impact of a train failure depends on two factors: the likelihood of a failure, which is related to how far the train has travelled since maintenance, and how busy the section of track is and how many other trains may be affected by the failure - Therefore, operating a train in a busy part of the rail network poses a higher risk in terms of potential delays if things go wrong.
  • Our client was interested in identifying and understanding these hot spots on the network to help them improve their planning and operations and thereby minimise risks of failures in the busiest parts of the network.
  • Using an innovative agent-based fleet modelling framework, maintenance records, and a year’s worth of timetable data, we simulated the risk of delays due to train breakdown.
  • Results were presented spatially, to provide a clear indication of the routes that may have highest delay risks associated with them.
  • Our client was able to identify their higher risk routes, and therefore could factor this in their planning and operations.


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Heat maps illustrating the riskier routes

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