TTR aims to provide the market with more flexibility and promote better cooperation between all involved stakeholders. To achieve these improvements and ensure smooth communication in this complex environment, the timetabling process must be supported by European and national IT systems, using state-of-the-art technology. Having identified this need, the TTR project team has conceptualised a new European IT environment – the Digital Capacity Management (DCM).
DCM is the integral IT part of the TTR programme and will contribute to freeing up capacity on congested lines and boosting the modal shift to rail for both passenger and freight traffic. The main goal of DCM is the digitalisation of TTR business processes and the reduction of manual data entry, using international standards (mostly TAF/TAP TSI framework) for information exchange, to
- raise the quality of information exchanged between all stakeholders,
- accelerate process steps by allowing for a certain extent of automatisation,
- and provide easy access to all stakeholders, either via interfaces or web browsers.
In addition to implementing specific communication standards, a main pillar of DCM is the use of common data components, such as basic information about railway lines and operation points, using data collected and maintained in the RNE Railway Infrastructure System (RIS).
The DCM Architecture
DCM is defined as a platform where multiple applications coexist and communicate, including the national systems of the stakeholders. It will connect the systems of IMs and RUs to facilitate the complete capacity management process – from advance planning to the actual train run, including algorithms for better capacity harmonisation and faster reply to requests. This benefits customers who receive better rail products, with more capacity for flexible connections throughout Europe, and with higher reliability and ease of use.
DCM considers two main blocks:
- The central IT framework, developed by RNE, contains three central tools:
- TCR Tool – to manage the Temporary Capacity Restrictions as negative capacity
- European Capacity Management Tool (ECMT) – to manage and visualise all capacity (positive
- and negative)
PCS Capacity Broker – a system for requesting capacity and providing offers to Applicants
- National and external IM and RU systems, which need to communicate with the central IT framework
A Messaging Module will enable communication between all national and central systems of the DCM, enabling interfaces between systems and access to central databases. Such interfaces can be built and used by all stakeholders. In addition to technical interfaces, accessibility via web applications will be ensured to secure easy access for all stakeholders.
Considering these two main blocks, the target IT architecture (see image above) was defined. The needs of the Railway Undertakings/Applicants (RUs) and Infrastructure Managers/Allocation Bodies (IMs/Abs) were taken into account and each tool of the central IT framework contains its own functionalities (‘microservices’) to fulfil the requested needs.
A common database (Railway Infrastructure System - RIS) that contains the IMs’necessary infrastructure data is defined as the basis for all tools and shall contain a high level of data granularity (e.g. number of tracks).
The target architecture presents messages based on the TAF/TAP TSI standard, which shall be used for data exchange between the national IM and RU systems, but also between the central modules.
If you have further questions, please feel free to contact the leader of the DCM project, Mr Mario Toma, RNE Senior TT IT Manager (firstname.lastname@example.org).