Data Sandbox+

Leveraging the data that the rail industry collects is key to improving the running of the railway and customer experience. Through a range of initiatives, we are helping to make data more accessible to those who can make best use of it.

About the competition

Data Sandbox+ builds on the success of the original Data Sandbox competition that RSSB launched in 2017, which funded five feasibility studies on how machine learning, graph theory and data analytics techniques can be used to support performance improvements. It also includes new and updated datasets that can be used to support project proposals.

RSSB and Network Rail's R&D are co-funding this competition and are making £1.3m available to fund work that either builds on existing feasibility studies or proposes new approaches and ideas. Proposals for innovative data-driven solutions to the following key operational performance challenges are invited:

  1. Predicting and minimising reactionary delays
  2. Understanding train movements
  3. Reducing dwell time variations
  4. Management of disruptions
  5. Better measuring and understanding performance and delays
  6. Other challenges, as identified by relevant owners (such as Network Rail or passenger and freight operators)

How to apply

This competition is now closed. There were two rounds of applications:

  • - Round 1 (April - July 2019)
  • - Round 2 (September - December 2019)

For more information download the research competition brief and for any questions, please email

We are also working with the Department for Transport, Rail Delivery Group, Network Rail, Connected Places Catapult and other industry players to support the Rail Data Council and the Rail Sector Deal, which focus on ensuring that rail travel experience around the UK is continually improving through innovation and the better use of data.

Call for research

Download the following documents:

Research competition brief


Join the conversation on Twitter

Other R&I Competitions

Click here to find out more about other RSSB R&I Competitions.

Data Sandbox+
RSSB is making funding and datasets available to support the development of novel and innovative solutions that can help industry tackle the issues of today and enable the railway of the future to be better, safer and more sustainable.