Case Study - DfT: Modelling Tomorrow's Railway

Client: Department for Transport (DfT)
Sector: the transport sector, central government
Services delivered: decision support & appraisal , risk modelling

Development of the NMF Safety Model

Under the Railways Act (2005), DfT and Transport Scotland must each publish a High Level Output Specification (HLOS) that sets objectives for the rail industry in terms of network capacity, train frequencies, journey times, punctuality etc.

To ensure that the HLOS is deliverable and affordable, DfT has commissioned the Network Modelling Framework – an integrated suite of models that predict demand, revenues, costs, punctuality and safety performance for different investment strategies.

The Rail Safety and Standards Board was given responsibility for developing the NMF Safety Model and, following a pilot study, appointed Risk Solutions to develop the model based on a simplified version of the industry’s Safety Risk Model.

A key difference from the SRM is that the NMF Safety Model will calculate safety risk for the number of trains, the train speed and passenger loading associated with each of Network Rail’s 300 Strategic Route Sections (rather than for the national average train conditions represented in SRM). This enables DfT to quantify the safety implications of changes in train/loading patterns in a consistent way to the SRM but at a local level – allowing changes in safety risk to be considered in the appraisal of alternative investment strategies.