The Castlefield Corridor between Castlefield Junction and Manchester Piccadilly is one of the most congested areas of the Network Rail network. The corridor is a significant bottleneck to rail traffic and, at the moment, the current level of on-time running is close to zero.
The goal of this study was to gain a better understanding of the factors leading to the poor performance in the area. Starting with an analytical work to examine the observed behaviours of this railway system, trenolab tested the proposed timetables and signalling interventions with trenissimo, our new railway simulation tool, to provide quantitative performance indicators of proposed changes.
To achieve these objectives, trenolab structured the work into three phases:
- Create the infrastructure and signalling model of the Castlefield Corridor for trenissimo, load the current timetable (December 2019) and calibrate the model against observed data;
- Test timetable performance modelling based on Off-Peak timetable options (December 2020 and 3 draft timetables for December 2021) and compare them to the December 2019 timetable;
- Test timetable performance modelling based on Peak timetable options (December 2020 and 3 draft timetables for December 2021) and compare them to the December 2019 timetable.
This meticulous study provided qualitative and quantitative performance indicators of the proposed draft timetables to various railway stakeholders and operators. Punctuality performance data were provided also for all “Measuring points” chosen ad hoc for each type of service. As a result Network Rail and the Manchester Recovery Task Force (MRTF) were able to choose the best timetable for December 2021 providing reliability and robustness to passengers and allowing operators to work efficiently.
- Operations analysis
- Timetable refinement
- Microscopic simulation model development
- Microscopic simulation model calibration
- Microscopic stochastic simulation