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Technology promises reduction in rail delays

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Punctuality of train journeys between London and Bristol is set to improve following the installation of an innovative new traffic management system for trials on the Great Western Railway.

Network Rail has signed an agreement with British signalling and train control specialist Resonate for a one year trial of its ‘Luminate’ Traffic Management System, which could could see reactionary delays reduced by up to 15%.

The project to deploy the system has already commenced and once finished in June 2018, the trial will run for a year until 2019.

The system monitors and manages the flow of trains, identifying any potential conflicts and allowing real time re-planning to happen quickly, minimising delays to both passengers and rail freight operating companies.

“Thousands of passengers will benefit from the introduction of this cutting edge technology that could reduce train delays by up to 15% on the main lines out of London Paddington,” said Network Rail’s group managing director for Digital Railway David Waboso.

Network Rail’s route managing director for the Great Western Railway Mark Langman added: “On a crowded network one issue can cause several delays so any opportunity to improve train performance for passengers and freight and deliver real measurable passenger benefits is welcome.

“Our work with Resonate on this project is revolutionary and as well as improving train performance it represents an efficient use of taxpayers’ money with some significant potential savings.”

Network Rail and Resonate have agreed to finance the project so the cost to the taxpayer is minimal and the financial benefits will be shared. This means that Resonate is picking up much of the cost to install and run the system. If reactionary delays reduce as predicted, compensation paid to train operating companies will also shrink and the money saved will be shared between the firm and Network Rail.

Resonate chief executive officer Anna Ince said: “We are delighted that our digital platform, developed in the UK, will be used on this busy and complex route to reduce train delays.”