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Artykuły :: Transport :: Conference papers

European and Polish TSI TAF implementation perspective
2007-05-30 13:48:00

Based on European Parliament and Council Directive 2001/16/EC of the 19 March 2001 on the interoperability of the trans-European conventional rail system and in conformity with a European Commission Mandate the European Association for Railway Interoperability (AEIF) undertook at the end of the year 2001 works on the Technical Specification for Interoperability for subsystem telematic applications for railway fright transport (TSI TAF). Poland was involved in those works from the very beginning and was voting in favour of the European Commission Regulation 62/2006 of the 23rd December 2005 imposing this TSI.

The TSI TAF itself was already presented during last Transport Systems Telematics Conference and therefore this paper does not concentrate on the scope of the EC regulation focusing on implementation questions, challenges and perspectives.

TSI TAF is published in the European Union Official Journal as a Regulation. This is because it defines requirements how telematic system for fright services has to work and what must be provided but it does not point detail technical documents defining TAF system up to single bits.

TSI TAF defines data and telegrams to be exchanged between Infrastructure Managers, Railway Undertakings, and Shippers for instance in relation to:
- Consignment notes (defining electronic waybill data which have to be provided, data formats, data sequences, rights for data access, data exchange procedures, …);
- Path requests (defining electronic data exchange content and procedures for requesting from Infrastructure Managers and granting to Railway Undertakings access to railway tracks both for creation of sequential timetables and for organising railway transport on demand);
- Train preparation (defining electronic data exchange content and procedures for trains ‘ready to start’ announcements and acceptance/rejection);
- Train running forecast (defining data exchange content and procedures for informing Railway Undertakings about expected delays in relation to the rules (e.g. in fixed intervals, only on demand, if delay is longer then defined time) and places defined in bilateral agreements);
- Service disruption information (defining when and how Infrastructure Manager is due to inform and consult Railway Undertaking in case of service disruption and solving traffic disturbances);
- Train location (defining data exchange content and rules for keeping Railway Undertakings informed about current trains’ positions);
- Wagon movement (defining data exchange for establishing the way certain wagon will follow from its origin to its destination);
- Shipment ETI/ETA (defining data exchange content and rules for passing to Railway Undertakings estimated times both for shipment arrival at destination (important for Railway Undertakings in view of their contracts with shippers) and for wagons arrivals at interchange points where responsibility for certain wagons are passed from one Railway Undertaking to another);
- Interchange reporting (defining data exchange content and procedures for granting, taking and refusing responsibility for a certain wagon at interchange points when wagons are passed from one Railway Undertaking to another Railway Undertaking.

Overall fright transport process model defined for TSI TAF
Fig.1. Overall fright transport process model defined for TSI TAF

Although a lot is defined in the TSI TAF, this document does not point detail technical documents defining European TAF system up to single bits. Nevertheless such documents are necessary to ensure technical compatibility between elements related to Infrastructure Managers and elements related to Railway Undertakings detail documents were strictly necessary. Taking that into account a decision was taken on the European level to prepare such documents within single dedicated project named Strategic European Deployment Plan (SEDP) for telematic applications for fright.

Community of European Railways (CER), European Infrastructure Managers (EIM), International Union of Railways (UIC) together with official European bodies defined not only scope and time frame but also participants of the SEDP project. Polish Infrastructure Manager PKP PLK as well as Polish main rail cargo operator PKP CARGO were invited to co-operate in defining all necessary details. SEDP project was foreseen for eighteen months and within that time most of the necessary documents have been elaborated.

As an add-on to the detail technical documents SEDP defined framework for TSI TAF European step-wise implementation. Following four steps were defined:
- Step 1
Elaboration and implementation of the common interface as well as creation of the key reference files and databases including database of wagons and intermodal units. This step includes also basic IT procedures which will play key role in the European TAF system forming data exchange procedures ensuring appropriate data exchange between a number of national IT traffic operation supporting applications and a European TAF system and its databases.
- Step 2
Improving quality of both data and data exchange procedures as well as implementing procedures for estimating expected arrival times. This step will allow the Railway Undertakings to trace their wagons and intermodal units and to improve service based on estimated times of arrival (ETA) for wagons’ destination stations. As a result railway transport will start to offer “just in time” deliveries opening better service for clients.
- Step 3
Implementation of dialogues between Infrastructure Managers and Railway Undertakings necessary for wagons’ movements serving including generation of the estimation of the expected interchange times for wagons based on wagon movements plans.
- Step 4
Implementation of dynamic generation of the ETAs and ETIs (estimated times of arrivals and estimated times of interchange between different Railway Undertakings) based on dynamic analyse of trains running. This includes trains ordering, trains starting procedures, trains location monitoring, trains cancellation both for timetable trains and trains on demand.

Within step 1: common network and data repository are planed to be ready in January 2008, key reference files are planed to be ready in February 2008, common interface and wagon & intermodal units database are planed to be ready in June 2008. Within step 2: trains ready-to-start data and procedures are planed to be ready in February 2009, reference vehicle database is planed to be ready in May 2009 and location reporting an forecasting are planed to be ready in December 2009. Within step 3: estimation of the interchange times on the basis of the agreed wagon movements is planed to be ready in February 2010, data exchange between Infrastructure Managers and Railway Undertakings is planed to be implemented in November 2010. Step 4 implementing all dynamic estimations is planed to be finally closed before mid of the year 2012.

The question is how this European SEDP’s steps fits to Polish Railway? Will Polish railway transport be coherent and stable part of the overall European one?

As already stated European TAF system is a layer for exchange of data between IT systems supporting traffic operation which are used by different European Infrastructure Managers and Railway Undertakings. Therefore it is crucial to point relevant Polish IT systems and works necessary to interconnect them with European TAF. Taking that into account PKP Polish Railway Lines granted a dedicated short time project. The scope of the project can be summarised as follows:

- Analyse of legal circumstances (pointing and analysing European and Polish relevant legal documents);
- Analyse of the procedural state of the art in Poland from Infrastructure Manager point of view (especially pointing relevant IT and manual/paper procedures used for traffic operation and supervision (for defining e.g. availability and quality of data which will be exchanged via and with European TAF system), as well as analysing consistency between Polish present and future European operational data exchange procedures);
- Analyse of the hardware availability in Poland from Infrastructure Manager point of view (especially data transmission network and its equipment and data processing hardware and its equipment taking into account also existence and availability of relevant personnel);
- Drafting PKP PLK TAF relevant sub-system (technical and organisational assumptions, future IT architecture, communication media, implementation strategy, training, maintenance, future change management procedures, cost estimations, …);

This work is still ongoing, however it will be finished this year. The detail findings belong to the Polish Infrastructure Manager PKP Polish Railway Lines, however we would like to point a general statement that Polish TAF is expected to be build on the basis of three existing applications: POS (“Prowadzenie Opisu Sieci” describing railway network in Poland), KWR (“Kolejowy Wykres Rychu” reflecting train movements), and SEPE (“System Ewidencji Pracy Eksploatacyjne” as a source for tracking and tracing data).

PKP Polish Railway Lines are legally obliged to ensure the same (well defined) quality of service for all railway cargo transport operators. PKP Polish Railway Lines see that challenge and necessary strategy is being prepared. This however does not solve all relevant in that respect questions for the railway transport in Poland. This is because not only Infrastructure Manager but also fright Railway Undertakings have to adapt their procedures and systems in line with European TAF system being build. That statement applies to PKP CARGO which is involved in SEDP project and to a number of smaller cargo operators which are not involved in European works.

Moreover some changes are required in Polish legislation. As an example we can point that all railway cargo transport operators have to register their wagons in the databases of the main railway cargo transport operator before those wagons can start to run on Polish railway tracks. As a result main railway cargo transport operator has a lot of detail data about its competitors. This is unacceptable in view of liberalisation in railway fright traffic in the European Union and have to be solved very quickly as full cabotage in railway fright operations starts to be legally binding from the first January 2007. Works in that respect are on-going on the level of the Polish National Safety Authority.

European TAF system implementation steps including schedule drown within Strategic European Deployment Plan may seem to give railway companies a lot of time. Taking however into account years spent to discuss tracking and tracing and the system scale (as network-wide implementation is required) and required system on-line working (taking into account operational dynamic) we can conclude stating, that the European implementation schedule is challenging.

[1] European Parliament and Council Directive 96/48/EC of the 23rd July 1996 on the interoperability of the trans-European high speed rail system,
[2] European Parliament and Council Directive 2001/16/EC of the 19 March 2001 on the interoperability of the trans-European conventional rail system,
[3] European Commission Regulation 62/2006 of the 23rd December 2005 concerning the technical specification for interoperability relating to the telematic applications for freight subsystem of the trans- European conventional rail system,
[4] Strategic European Deployment Plan (SEDP) documents,
[5] TSI TAF implementation in Polish Rail System; analyses within PKP PLK project.


Railway Scientific and Technical Centre CNTK

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