Mapping the UK rail network

Train operators in the UK bid for franchises to be able to operate rail services on routes across the UK for a fixed duration. Before awarding the franchise, regulators assess, amongst other things, any potential competition concerns as a result of overlaps with their existing operations. Frontier supported a major train operator in their franchise bid.

Rail and bus overlaps at a glance using data tools

We provided a visual representation of the rail-to-rail and rail-to-bus overlaps by mapping all the rail and bus routes across the UK, along with a detailed analysis of the route-specific overlaps based on timetables. The data exercise involved collating various data sources such as timetables, network maps, rail station coordinates and analysing the information using tools such as ArcGIS, Python, R and Stata.

Successful award of rail franchise

As a result of the analysis, the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) was able to easily and quickly focus on any potential zones that may give rise to concerns. The bid was successfully awarded to the rail operator after the CMA’s review.

This map of the UK rail network was produced by Frontier, using Department of Transport data.