University of Portsmouth Researchers Develop Algorithm to Reduce Rail Delays

Researchers at the University of Portsmouth have developed an algorithm to help reduce rail delays.

Working in collaboration with First MTR South Western Railway via a two-year knowledge-transfer partnership (KTP) that was funded by Innovate UK, the researchers developed the first algorithm capable of detecting delays on tracks automatically.

It is not easy to keep disruption to a minimum when there are more than 1,700 trains operating on South Western Railway’s network every day. This volume makes it hard for controllers to spot delays quickly, which then triggers further delays in implementing contingency plans. Although there has been a large increase in passenger numbers, trains and crews, operators have still been using the same systems and technology for decades.