Richard Wheldon delivering talk

Richard Wheldon gave a presentation on how AI and advanced digital techniques can lead to better, informed decision making – helping the rail industry deliver better reliability and efficiency.

Richard showcased Frazer-Nash Consultancy’s Possession Optimisation Tool, which predicts issues with possession plans.  He spoke about how it can help Network Rail and Contractors deliver possession and engineering works on-time, by identifying risks in work delivery plans to help get back on track when things don’t go to plan. Potentially, this can save more than £30m a year by eliminating reworks and delays.

Possession Optimisation Tool – Main Screen

Richard also spoke about other ways AI and machine learning can be used in a positive way.  These included to help introduce predictive and condition-based maintenance, understand and better manage climate effects such as flooding, predict train delays and optimise the performance of depots, illustrating the talk with examples of tools Frazer-Nash has developed in these areas.

The audience included a range of engaged young professionals and experienced innovators who were impressed by the potential for innovations like these to help meet the challenges of the future and help deliver a better railway.