Network Rail and the Transport Systems Catapult (TSC) are seeking innovative solutions from UK based businesses which could help understand and improve passenger journeys through the rail network. The project, led by the TSC, is seeking to build live demonstrators of innovative technologies which could improve understanding of passenger flow through the network and stations, facilitate a smoother flow of trains and improve the customer experience.
The call follows market research by the TSC on behalf of Network rail which identified key areas where innovative UK businesses can contribute to capabilities detailed in Network Rail’s Rail Technical Strategy. The two areas of focus identified were:
1. System Wide modeling to understand the flow of both passengers at stations and on trains through the rail network as one complete system.
2. Using new and existing data sources to predict passenger flow throughout a station and improve operational performance.
Key to the project is engagement with the public procurement regulation ‘Innovation Partnership Procedure’ which will support staged development of innovative solutions through feasibility studies, product development, demonstration and eventually widespread deployment across the rail network. This means innovative businesses with high growth potential have a unique opportunity to develop products for large scale implementation with Network Rail.
For Network Rail this means they can explore new ideas and technologies which could have huge benefits for the travelling public in a low risk and cost-effective manner.
Transport Systems Catapult, Programme Manager Kristoff van Leeuwen said: “Transport innovation in the UK’s technology innovation community is thriving, but it is not always easy for smaller businesses to transition their solutions into the wider transport network due to the complexity of the environments. With this in mind, we are excited to be working on this unique opportunity with Network Rail. We will be providing successful businesses and SMEs with access to Network Rail and the support necessary to progress their solutions in a low risk process and to meet Network Rail’s requirements. Ultimately, we will seek both better journeys for rail users and jobs and growth for UK businesses.”
Businesses interested in taking part should go to ts.catapult.org.uk to find out more. Expressions of interest must be made before the 3rd December.