Leeds is the third-busiest railway station in the UK outside London and one of 19 stations managed by Network Rail. In May 2018, a new timetable was introduced which created a number of conflicts in the station area, including inoperable station workings, trains without platform allocations and timetable clashes. Due to our expertise in the development of simulation for design and data validation, we were engaged by Network Rail to model the May 2018 timetable for Leeds station and 5-mile surrounding area using the TREsim signalling simulator tool to help identify specific issues and provide recommendations to resolve them.
- Updating TREsim with the latest information and data for Leeds Station and the area within a 5-mile radius and running a series of models across a timetabled 24-hour period to understand issues or clashes
- Undertaking a review of outputs and offering workable solutions to the timetable and station workings
- Providing a report to Network Rail with detailed findings and potential solutions
The timetable used for the work was taken from the Long-Term Plan (LTP) CIF (Common Interface File) provided by Network Rail. Station workings provided by Network Rail for the 22nd August 2018 were used to ensure the most recent data informed the modelling of the timetable and layout. The CIF was tested to make sure there were no anomalies with the tool whilst running it. Hitachi did not consider any STP / VSTP (Short Term Planning) schedules, or make any provision for on the day stock swaps, platform changes or crew changes etc. as this was out of scope.
The modelling tool was used to run a series of extensive simulations over the 24-hour period of the 22nd August 2018. We also ran the TRElea (the Hitachi Layout Evaluation Analysis tool) which produces reports and graphs on the performance of the modelled railway. In particular, it provides analysis of the infrastructure, rolling stock, and timetable interaction in the station area which was included in the report. Our proprietary ‘Heat Map’ tool was used to concisely and graphically illustrate infrastructure pinch points in the station area. This allowed for identification and consideration of targeted improvement options.
Recommendations and outputs included:
- Automatic insertion of associations at source
- Development of a station docking tool
- Extra time inserted in the timetable for pathing, engineering and scheduling
- Insertion of extra details in the timetable approaching Leeds West
- Increasing the timings from platform to West Junction and re-occupation of a platform, and vice versa, to at least 2 minutes between trains
- Reviewing platforms being used for the Manchester - Huddersfield workings to allow the Knottingley / Lincoln services to be better platformed allowing easier access to the station