Timetable recovery

A problematic UK rail timetable roll-out was creating major service disruptions and reputational damage. Detailed analysis was required to understand the extent to which workforce planning was contributing to the problems and assurance that recovery plans could be effectively resourced.

Our Solution

A major data hub containing historic (4 years) availability and utilisation data by driver by day, diagram numbers for all past timetables and employee numbers by depot.

A roster analysis tool to evaluate proposed rosters for over 30 depots and overlay absence and RDW tendencies for over 2000 employees to identify potential resourcing pinch points.

A diagram analysis tool which turned long-form diagrams into a fully analysable data table containing each leg of every diagram, with key metrics such as driving/passing time, allowances and buffer time.

A resilience forecast tool to calculate a bottom-up resource position for a given demand and a top-down view of demand limits for a given supply level.

A weekly executive report on current position, mitigation options and strategic options for service recovery.

Features and Benefits

The data hub provided a means to access and analyse a vast amount data quickly, in response to questions from multiple stakeholders during the crisis management.

The roster analysis tool allowed designs to be stress-tested in the context of the actual employees and historic tendencies, by joining up otherwise separate data sets and analysis.

The diagram analysis tool enabled rapid analysis of new diagram sets, with executive level reports available within a few hours of diagram issuing. The data table generated from the long-form diagrams also allowed bespoke analysis of more specific questions. For example, to what degree do driver changeovers expose core services to the punctuality of others.

The resilience forecast tool presented a complex calculation in a clear and simple heatmap, used for strategic discussions at a senior level, with multiple stakeholders.


The results of our analysis were accepted by all parties, ultimately leading to an agreed settlement.