Concept Based on Market Needs
The TTR project has a clear focus on providing substantial value to all involved parties, and the TTR project team was therefore set up by inviting railway undertakings (RUs), infrastructure managers and allocation bodies (IMs/ABs) and supporting companies to nominate market specialists as well as experts from the fields of timetabling, construction works, IT and legal matters. The newly set up team then started conceptualising the redesign of the timetabling process by asking the market to spell out its needs.
The market needs were found to be:
- Flexibility, especially in the freight sector
- Possibility for earlier commercial use of paths, e.g. earlier ticket sales
- Reduction in load peaks and redundant work
- Higher stability and quality of timetables
Based on this feedback, IMs/ABs and RUs then started to define possible approaches for a new process. After several years of planning, the innovative and market-oriented redesigned timetabling process finally took shape.
Implementation of the TTR process started after its approval by RNE and FTE in 2017, with a clear vision:
- Clear focus on freight and passenger market needs with optimised request deadlines
- Improved reliability, consistency and stability planning and execution of temporary capacity restrictions (TCRs)
- Binding implementation and application of the redesigned timetabling process (TTR)
- Increased efficiency (capacities, resources, IT) in order to avoid duplication of work and planning efforts
- Optimised use of existing infrastructure capacity
TTR Benefits Demonstrated
A business case based on the TTR project results demonstrated that a most positive effect on the European railway sector is to be expected, namely:
- Optimised usage of available infrastructure (increased capacity/quality) and consequently a higher market share of railway transport in the modal split
- Increased efficiency of IMs/ABs and applicants when planning and allocating capacity while minimising the occurrence of redundant work steps
These improvements will translate into considerable financial benefits for the sector.
TTR Further Steps
To further develop and improve the TTR process, innovative elements are being tested through several initiatives:
- Pilot lines on Rail Freight Corridors have been established (Mannheim-Miranda de Ebro, Antwerp-Rotterdam, Munich-Verona),
- a network pilot on ÖBB INFRA’s core network is scheduled for timetable 2021,
- and some IMs/ABs have also started testing individual components of TTR.
In parallel, a project with the goal of full TTR rollout has been launched. Considering all expected benefits and seeing some achievements already in the pilots, the TTR team aims for a full rollout of the TTR process by the end of 2024.