FTE Workshop PCS Freight Traffic, Berlin, 20-22.01.2015

From 20 to 22 January 2015, Forum Train Europe (FTE) ran a fruitful workshop in Berlin entitled "Path Coordination System PCS - Procedure for requesting Pre-arranged Paths (PaPs) for the 2016 timetable".

PCS Technical Manager explaining the new PCS functionalities of the PaPs product

participants of the workshop

Its main aim was to provide information and training for all users of the PCS on the latest developments in the system with regard to the PaPs and C-OSS functions.

More than 50 active PCS users involved in international production planning, path elaboration or the Rail Freight Corridors implemented two years ago took part in this unique event, which marked the start of the process of requesting the PaPs for the 2016 annual timetable. In total, 22 freight railway undertakings (RUs), 14 infrastructure managers (IMs) and five Rail Freight Corridors (RFCs) from Spain, France, Luxembourg, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Sweden, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia, Slovakia and Romania were represented at the workshop.

Thanks to the full support of timetable and IT experts from the RailNetEurope (RNE) Joint Office and representatives from the C-OSS of RFCs 1, 2, 4, 6 and 9, the large group of highly interested participants was offered a stimulating three-day programme.

The event was divided into two parts: in the assembly hall, the PCS users listened as experts explained the new PCS functions and processes, which have been in operation since November/December 2014, as well as the new "Flex-PaP" product and the new priority regulation "Network-PaP". The participants then moved on to specially set-up workstations, where they gained practical experience by working through specific case studies in the PCS under the guidance of the RFC representatives and responsible RUs. Thanks to these exercises, some weak points were revealed or confirmed in the system and the planning processes and these are now being dealt with by the expert groups at international level.

The joint workshop format, with everyone involved in the timetabling process working intensively on a specific topic, once again proved a great success. Between now and Monday 13 April 2015, the RUs will prepare the PaP requests for the 2016 timetable in the PCS.

FTE’s next task is to support the RUs during this complex requesting phase, to ensure that path requests can be submitted to the RFCs via the PCS without any problems. For the first time since the PCS was launched, PaPs can now only be requested via the PCS request system.

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