Nowadays, cooperation and data sharing are not that common amongst the units in the railway sector. Common data sharing between infrastructure managers, railway undertakings, terminals, and ports only works on a bilateral level, or in many cases not happen at all. However, sharing data in all stages of the transport chain would be beneficial for the whole sector in order to increase efficiency and to be able to react quickly to disturbances. That is why the Railway Collaborative Decision Making (R-CDM)-concept, which was derived from the Airport Collaborative Decision Making (A-CDM)-concept, was developed. The A-CDM has shown significant benefits in the aviation sector improving the efficiency of flight and ground processes as well. The activity was covered with Digital Train 1.0 CEF project where a Feasibility study on Railway Collaborative Decision Making was prepared. Following that, the RNE MB recommended, and the Traffic Management High-Level Group agreed on the continuation of the R-CDM concept implementation.
The R-CDM concept
This concept aims to improve the efficiency and resilience of railway operations by allowing individual stakeholders (RUs, terminals, ports, shunting yards, etc.) to optimize the use of their resources by improving predictability and data sharing.
To ensure the transfer of information, a milestone approach was proposed in the study. Following the A-CDM approach, various milestones are defined throughout the transport chain, at which times are passed on to the relevant actors. The timestamps can include planned-, estimated-, targeted-, and actual values. For each milestone, predetermined stakeholders provide the information.
Overall, R-CDM is about efficiently using existing capacity and resources, offering resilience and potentially better recovery from disrupted situations. The culture of a future R-CDM or “information sharing” shall ideally involve all stakeholders from origin to destination. So that means it’s important to develop the concept further and decide on the way of implementation together, and equally.
Proper information flow will make operations more resilient and increase predictability. The concept could help achieve the following benefits for different stakeholders:
- Infrastructure Managers
- Decreasing overall delay minutes
- More predictable operations
- Improved capacity management
- Better quality of service
- Railway Undertakings & Shunting Operators
- Better reliability
- More cost-efficient operations
- Better resource utilization
- Real-time monitoring
- Proactive re-planning
- Terminal operators
- Better predictability
- Improved capacity utilization
- Decrease in energy usage
- Intermodal operators
- Eliminated planning uncertainties
- Proactive collaboration
- Better quality of information