Background to the Dynamic Train Planning competition

‘Very Short Term Planning’ (VSTP) covers the need to change one or more train services at very short notice, perhaps on the day in question or over the next 48 hours. Making improvements to VSTP systems and processes now will move us closer to a future in which more flexible and dynamic timetabling is used to make optimal use of the capacity on the network.

In October 2019, RSSB made £3.1m available to fund innovative demonstration projects (TRLs 4 to 7) that could help the rail industry implement more VSTP schedules in a robust and validated way, ensuring there is an allocated and de-conflicted path for each train service.

Benefits of this approach include:

  • • a more reliable and consistent service for passengers
  • • the ability for freight to plan and deliver a more reactive service
  • • a reduced workload for operators and controllers
  • • a step towards adaptable and dynamic on-demand contingency plans and mechanisms for improving and testing timetables

A launch event for the competition was held on 1 October 2019. Presentations from the event can be found by clicking on 'Resources' (on the right).

For information about the successful projects click Projects on the menu above.

If you have any questions please email

Information and Networking Day

1 October 2019

Level39, One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5AB


Registration and networking lunch


Welcome and introduction

Luisa Moisio, R&D Programme Director, RSSB


The challenge explained: an overview

Kris Alexander, Network Rail and Andrew Pennington, South Western Railway


VSTP: an operator's perspective

Kris Tucknott, Abellio


The implications of VSTP on Traffic Management Systems

Jack Rumbold, c2c


How will freight benefit from robust VSTP?

Kate Turner and Jordan Lynn, Deutsche Bahn


Q&A Panel

All the morning’s speakers


Coffee break


The future of Dynamic Train Planning

Clive Burrows, First Group


Competition guidance

Michelle Holley, RSSB


Q&A, next steps and close

Luisa Moisio, R&D Programme Director, RSSB


Networking with canapes and drinks (until 6pm)

Call for research

Download the following documents:

Competition Brief




Join the conversation on Twitter

Other R&I Competitions

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