Supporting the efficient, greener movement of freight across the UK
Moving more freight from the roads to rail is a key challenge facing those seeking to drive modal shift. It appears that there is little capacity on the network to run additional freight trains that would take thousands of HGVs off the roads and save millions of tonnes of CO2 emissions each year. Utilising over 7 years of historical data, PathPlanner seeks out unused paths across the network to unlock capacity and generate new opportunities for the freight sector to transport more goods sustainably.
PathPlanner is an innovative software solution that supports the efficient movement of freight across the UK rail industry. This First of a Kind (FOAK) winner, enables the freight industry to identify unused paths across the network, to support its mission to operate more efficiently, greener and seamlessly. The solution helps planners to quickly identify available paths which can be bid to Network Rail. This enables operators to take advantage of much needed spare, and potentially wasted, capacity. PathPlanner aims to offer operators the opportunity to relinquish scheduled paths on a one-by-one basis, in real time, on any given day.
Path search allows users to search from where they want to go to and from by a specific date or date range. The train graph display shows the paths and all other trains running whilst highlighting any conflicts. Path deconflicting tools help deconflict paths by adding planned stops, pathing allowance and path offset. The path request function confirms details of trains to be run by generating a PEX file to submit to Network Rail, allowing quicker approval.
Path stitching gives more flexibility as it does not rely on paths which are already running. It looks for a path by stitching smaller known paths together, allowing freight operators to plan a service to get from ‘A to B’, all whilst showing distance and minimum duration. The card view shows a range of possible paths, with each card showing all components of a stitched path. For easy visibility the map view shows stitched paths on an interactive map.
Train departure probability
The train departure probability screen shows services by probability of running and allows for quick cancellation of paths, using 2 clicks, to free up services on the network. A cancellation message is sent into Network Rail’s planning system via a PEX file to reduce manual overhead for planners and operators.
The PathPlanner departure board provides an overview of all services that are operating for faster review and decision making by freight operating companies.
The bids dashboard summarises all bids that are in preparation, have been submitted, or have expired.
View bid summaries, look at bid response times and identify services that are unlikely to run.
Path search and select
Search paths to and from a location and by date. View all available paths with likelihood of the path running.
Train graph display
View the path, all other trains running and conflicts. Option to zoom in and out or hover for details and see path owners.
Path deconflicting tools
Provides tools to help deconflict paths. Ability to add planned stops and add pathing allowance. Also add path offset (path slip) to delay departure.
Confirm details of train to be run and add parameters. Generate PEX file (and pdf) to submit to Network Rail via email – (import directly into Network Rail system for path approval) resulting in quicker approval times.
This function creates new paths by stitching smaller known paths together. View by distance or minimum duration.
Card or Map View
Card view displays the range of possible paths and each card shows all components of a stitched path. Map view shows stitched paths on a map and allows you to schedule a path by selecting departure date and time, and also resolve conflicts.
Shows all services that are running for the freight operating companies.
A dashboard showing the bids in preparation, submitted to Network Rail and expired.
Train departure probability
View services by probability of running. Allows quick cancellation of paths to free up services on the network whilst creating PEX file via email for cancellation.
Plan for success with our Whitepaper on The Future of Freight.