Northern and Transpennine Express franchise bid assessment.

David operated as a performance data analyst for the Department For Transport team assessing the franchise bids for both the Northern and TPE bids.

One area of this work which is of particular note is the assessmennt of compliance with timetable planning rules. It was particular importance that all bidders submitted timetables which complied with the rigorous timetable rules, especially since both franchises would need to operate in similar areas and the submitted timetables would have significant overlap. The process of timetable requirement checking was a largely adhoc and manual one. The available automated tool took several hours per timetable check and each bidder needed to have several timetables checked.

In order to expedite this process I developed a suite of tools to assist. This included a parser to read the TSRs themselves from excel format into one which allowed automation. A timetable parser to take submitted timetables and load them into a database. A database to compare the submitted timetables with the rulesets and finally anoutput formatter to rerender the TSRs into the original format ready to be inspected by the assessment team.

This process meant that all timetables from all bidders could be checked for compliance completely within an hour or two, drastically shortening the time between iterations of the TSRs, timetables and solutions.

This solution was used on several future bids.

David Rickmann
Data Scientist

My research interests include transport as a system, data science and asteroid mining.