Information Technology (IT) is one of the key success factors in the logistics and transport sector. It has been facing the same challenges and questions for many years, such as: Where are my trains? How fast can I get a train path?
As far as national transport services are concerned, the answers to these (and many other) questions can be given by the national Infrastructure Managers (IMs) / Allocation Bodies (ABs). But when transport is taken to an international level, national IT solutions can only deliver part of the required answer. The international rail business therefore requires good cooperation between all parties concerned. In this context RNE takes its Members’ business needs into consideration and is also in direct contact with the Railway Undertakings (RUs), an approach that has had a strong impact on the development of RNE’s IT systems.
The TAF and TAP TSI, the Rail Freight Regulation (913/2010) for European Rail Freight Corridors and Directive 2012/34 (Recast) have been the main business drivers for RNE IT investment in recent years. In this context the RNE General Assembly mandated RNE to provide support and coordination for the IMs in the field of telematics (TAF/TAP) TSIs. RNE’s IT systems are now among the main tools supporting the fulfilment of the ambitious objectives laid down in the TSIs and the Rail Freight Regulation (913/2010).
RNE’s IT strategy has been developed over several years in close collaboration with the IT managers of RNE Members. While its main pillars have existed since the beginning, new challenges, such as the Rail Freight Regulation, are being taken into account as they arise. The facilitation of use, development and implementation of software tools according to changing business demands is a major part of RNE’s IT strategy, which is based on the four pillars illustrated in the graphic below.
Business Needs and Processes
- RNE IT acts according to business needs. RNE working groups are defining requirements.
- RNE IT Systems are simply tools providing support in meeting business needs
EU Legislation & TSIs
- RNE IT systems have to be in line with EU legislation
- RNE IT systems provide the basis for compliance with EU legislation
- RNE is coordinating IMs in the field of IT related legislation & TSIs
Digital European IM Systems
- RNE IT systems shall use national information as much as possible
- RNE IT systems have to be connected to existing national systems
- RNE IT systems shall be able to act as data exchange platform
Current RNE IT Systems (PCS, TIC, CCS, CIP and CIS)
- RNE IT systems shall be able to use functions of other systems
- RNE IT systems shall use the same reference files (locations, segments)
IT being a support service, major needs are defined in the business areas concerned. It is RNE IT’s task to ensure that the required functions are in place and that they are available in line with the agreed service levels (SLAs – service level agreements). It goes without saying that this has to be done in a harmonised and cost-efficient way. Moreover, RNE systems have to be connected with the IM’s company system to be able to act as a common European IM system. Therefore RNE has started the Big Data project to enable the exchange of harmonised reference files between IM and RNE systems. By using that approach it shall be possible to use several functions provided by one system in other systems as well.