Train operating companies will soon be facing their December timetabling brain teaser! The time is approaching for transformed timetables to allow for track maintenance, relieving seasonal pressures, and infrastructure upgrades. While passengers are baffled by these – sometimes miniscule – changes, train operators and Network Rail appreciate how vital they are to helping keep UK rail running in winter.
It’s also the time that Tracsis offers operators the chance to reduce the resources and pressure dedicated to the bi-annual strain of studying the scheduling. TRACS Timetable Comparison (TRACS-TC) is a dynamic tool that allows timetables to be compared effortlessly. The software highlights exactly what has changed within the timetables, and with the benefit of customisable filters it streamlines the process for maximum efficiency.
Reducing delays and penalties
Andrew Schwarz is Head of Software (Leeds) at Tracsis plc. He says “The timetable comparison shows changes made to timetables during the Network Rail timetable bid/offer process. If the changes are not identified, it can result in unexpected delays and disruption for passengers and operators, and penalties for the operators themselves. That has an undesirable knock-on effect in terms of revenue and reputation.”
TRACS-TC highlights exactly what has changed between timetables, reducing the time and labour required to manually check, compare and track changes within them. Andrew continues: “The comparison function also maximises efficiency during the Franchise Bid process as timetable options can be compared and the differences displayed in a user- friendly on-screen view.”
How it works
The software can access mileage data from Tracsis TRUST Mileage Service and other data sources to calculate total mileages across a timetable. This is used to calculate or validate a Track Access Billing System (TABS) report.
It’s a proven success with the train operators which have already implemented it: “TRACS-TC is the easiest piece of kit you could use, it’s extremely thorough and allows you to analyse every aspect of the timetable data which is something you couldn’t do before. Using the timetable comparison function, TRACS-TC has certainly allowed us to eliminate some of the delays due to late changes which have not been picked up!” said one UK intercity train operator.
TRACS-TC helps operators maintain the finest potential customer service at a time when timetable changes are under the microscope of the UK’s media and regulators. As well as reducing the time and labour required for staff to manually check, compare and track changes, it can be used in several scenarios to streamline the process…
“It’s a practical and smart planning tool which is beneficial for multiple situations.” Says Andrew. “Whether it’s for planned and run timetables for Schedule 4 calculations, LTP and STP timetables, timetable iterations in franchise bidding, or TABS report estimate calculations and validation. That makes it a valuable bit of kit for UK train operators – for their businesses, employees, and their passengers!”
if you would like to see the software in action.