Automatic Data for Applied Railway Management. Case study of the London Overground

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - rail, operations - performance, place - europe, ridership - demand, ridership - perceptions


London overground, peak services, North London, passenger perspective, oerators perspective, service quality


In 2009, London Overground management implemented a new tactical plan for a.m. and p.m. peak service on the North London Line (NLL). This paper documents that tactical planning intervention and evaluates its outcomes in terms of certain aspects of service delivery (the operator's perspective on system performance) and service quality (the passenger's perspective). Analyses of service delivery and quality and of passenger demand contributed to the development, proposal, and implementation of the new tactical plan. NLL trains were delayed routinely en route, with excessive dwell time a major cause. Near-random passenger incidence behavior suggested that an even headway service for NLL might have been more appropriate. The confluence of these analyses was confirmed by the corresponding excess journey time results. On the basis of longitudinal analysis, an evaluation showed that on-time performance increased substantially and observed journey time decreased with the introduction of the new plan. Overall, the effects of this implementation appeared to have been positive on balance. This case study thus demonstrated the applicability of automatic data generally, and certain measures and techniques in the London Overground specifically, to support the tactical planning of an urban railway.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Transportation Research Board, Washington, copyright remains with them.