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 capacity management process. After several years of planning, the innovative and market-oriented smart capacity management process finally took shape: “TTR for Smart Capacity Management”.
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
The implementation of the full TTR process – known as backbone implementation – has started with the Capacity Strategy phase in August 2021. Moreover, several pilots are active since the timetable period 2020 to test some innovative TTR elements already on specific lines. Additionally, several IMs have come together to increase the implementation speed by introducing several Minimum Viable Products (MVPs).