PCS MONTHLY NEWS – FEBRUARY 2020

February may be the shortest month of the year, but there was plenty of work to keep the PCS Team occupied.

Currently, Infrastructure Managers (IMs) are busy carrying out feasibility studies on international passenger train requests.

The PCS Team participated in the following regular annual training events organised with the Rail Freight Corridors:

  • 06th-07th February in Frankfurt with RFCs Rhine-Alpine, Scan-Med, Orient/East-Med, and North Sea-Baltic
  • 13th-14th February in Warsaw with RFCs Baltic-Adriatic, Czech-Slovak, and Amber
  • 19th-20th February in Budapest with RFCs Orient/East-Med, Czech-Slovak, and Amber

The “traditional” PCS UG, PCS Test Group and PCS CCB meetings were held in the beautiful city of Zurich this year, located by the lake and surrounded by mountains.

At the PCS Test meeting, participants tested the Path Modification and the Path Alteration process types, watched a demonstration of how IMs can edit reserved capacity and agreed on the reporting requirements.

At the PCS CCB meeting, this year’s budget reporting plans were introduced and last year’s statistics shared. Also, the structure of the new change request page was presented, with full FTE involvement in the future. Path harmonisation was discussed in detail:

  • Alternative origin / destination
  • Number of days on each side of the border
  • How to edit a route as an IM if PaP is included

Participants received information on the timetable quality KPI’s and a brief introduction to a new simplified communication tool that should support the harmonisation process.

At the PCS UG meeting the PCS team collected feedback from the users, who shared their satisfaction and positive experiences so far. Users received an update about what had been done since the latest release (additional PA/PM features added, enhanced collaboration, reliable and simple PDF export) what was still pending and what is planned (BigData integration as part of the TTR Programme). A framework proposal for handling Non-RU applicants was presented. The proposal will need to be approved later in May and will be revised in October. It will remain in a draft version for further amendment opportunities. Participants received an overview of the status report, a workshop on further developments and the customisation of PaPs as part of the 2020 developments. Members were informed of the possible future involvement of RUs in change request processes.

ECMT development continues and it is planned to add the bulk operation feature for adding/removing days in the objects.

PCS maintenance release notes include features and enhancements for each release, as well as bug fixes. To get an update and read more about PCS development steps and sprints, please click on this link.

In terms of ongoing user support, the PCS team has assisted 65 times in various issues in February, mainly with user access requests, password resets, dossier creation issues and PaP questions.

PCS MONTHLY NEWS – JANUARY 2020

January was an eventful month, starting with the FTE A Passenger Traffic Coordination Conference which was held 14th – 17th January in Ljubljana. At the conference participants harmonised their trains for timetable 2021. Applicants prepared their feasibility study requests for the international passenger trains, and these were submitted on 20th January to the Infrasturture Managers (IMs) to conduct feasibility studies.

On 29th – 30th January in Brussels, the PCS Team started the training sessions with RFCs North-Sea-Med, Atlantic, Mediterranean, and North Sea-Baltic. The goal of the training was for PCS users to learn about the new PCS structure with the new GUI elements, calendar consistency (avoiding overlapping days), border harmonisation (warning in case of non-harmonised borders), using multiple PaPs even in the territory for different days and using local times and time zones. The training sessions continued in February.

PCS development still continues as some features and functions are not available yet. It is planned to introduce a new copying function, ‘Sub-path with PaP copy’ for copying the whole sub-path with PaPs together to reduce time spent and frustration when creating a dossier with PaPs. A simplified PDF export was also added to the tool, which shows the dossier content in a much nicer and shorter view than before.

The Rail Freight Corridors finalised and published their Pre-Arrenged Paths and Catalogue Paths by 13th January.

ECMT development continues and public access has been available in production from 31st January. This means that customers, applicants or any other users can check the application freely as an anonymus user. Charts, search for object and object details will be available if they are in a published state.

The PCS maintenance release notes include features and enhancements for each release, as well as bug fixes. To get an update and read more about PCS development steps and sprints, please click on this link.

In terms of ongoing user support, the PCS team has assisted 111 times in various issues in January, mainly with user access requests password resets, PaP publication issues and carry forward questions.

PCS MONTHLY NEWS – NOVEMBER 2019

After the successful migration to the new PCS Envelope Concept version, the development still continues as some features and functions are not available yet. The next major development is in progress and Path Modification and Alteration processes are in the testing phase.

In November RNE organised trainings (26th – 28th November) for passenger business (applicants and IMs) in close cooperation with FTE. The training series will continue with Rail Freight Corridors in January and February.

PCS user have to to get familiar with the new PCS structure, with the new GUI elements, with how to solve the calendar consistency (avoiding overlapping days), how to harmonise borders (warning on not harmonised borders), how to use multiple PaPs even on the same territory for different days and how to use local times and timezones.

If you are interested, please visit the CMS event calendar for further details and register for the events:

  • 29th-30th January 2020 in Brussels with RFC North-Sea-Med, Atlantic, Meditiiterrian and North Sea-Baltic. Register: here.
  • 06th-07th February 2020 in Frankfurt with RFC Rhine-Alpine, Scan-med, Orient/East-Med, and North Sea-Baltic. Register: here.
  • 13th-14th February 2020 in Warsaw with RFC Baltic-Adriatic, Czech-Slovak, and Amber. Register: here.
  • 19th-20th February 2020 in Budapest with RFC Orient/East-Med, Czech-Slovak, and Amber. Register: here.
  • 26th-27th February 2020 in Milano with RFC Rhine-Alpine, Scan-Med, Baltic-Adriatic, and Mediterranean. Register: here.

Currently, passenger traffic users are working on carrying forward of the dossiers for the next time table period (TT2021). In a next step they will promote the dossiers to the harmonisation phase.

A TEG Planning meeting was held in the RNE Joint Office on 5th November where participants discussed the IM-IM coordination process in terms of OTN changes at the border, were provided with an update on the JS pilot status, and a presentation by FTE about its Train Object Modelling project and recent updates. As usual, the group discussed some change requests under review and agreed on the meeting schedule for 2020.

The PCS maintenance release notes include features and enhancements to each release, as well as bug fixes. To get an update and read more about PCS development steps and sprints, please click on this link.

In terms of ongoing user support, the PCS team has assisted 38 times in various issues in November, mainly with user access requests password resets and test findings questions.

PCS MONTHLY NEWS – OCTOBER 2019

The PCS Envelope Concept Project reached a significant milestone and on 16th October 2019, PCS NG migrated to the new structure with the dossiers from TT2018 to TT2020. The migration process went smoothly (less than 3% of the dossiers were not migrated). The development still continues as some features and functions are not available yet. The next major development step is the implementation of the Path Modification and Alteration processes in the system, to be finalised by the end of November.

PCS users are now familiarising themselves with the new GUI elements, the calendar consistency (avoiding overlapping days),  the border harmonisation (warning on not harmonised borders), using multiple PaPs on the same territory for different days, using local times and indicating time zones.

New trainings are planned for November in close cooperation with FTE and will continue for the Rail Freight Corridors in January and February.

The PCS maintenance release notes include features and enhancements for each release, as well as bug fixes. To get an update and read more about PCS development steps and sprints, please click on the link.

Most dossiers are now in the Active Timetable phase. For the involved participants who accepted the final offer and have set their lights to green in the system, the PCS has been automatically promoting dossiers to the Active Timetable phase since the 20 August 2019. This automatic process will continue until 14 December 2019. Currently, Path Modification and Path Alteration is still under development, and users have to wait a little longer before starting to adjust the allocated dossiers.

In CMS, the PCS document section has been revised, and a new structure prepared. The documents are continuously updated and revised according to the standards of the new PCS EC version. The goal is to continuously improve the quality of documentation: the documents are now organised, accurate, complete, up to date and contain more screenshots to increase user satisfaction.

The PCS Technical Board meeting was held on 9th October 2019. Each participant could give a report on their PCS interface implementation. To provide support, the PCS Team prepared a new guide focusing on the special dialect of TSI communication that is or will be supported by PCS. Participants were also informed about the PCS EC deployment roadmap and received a live demonstration of the GUI changes, behaviour of the TSI identifiers and TAF/TSI message sending in PCS web service communication.

In terms of ongoing user support, the PCS team has assisted 61 times in various issues in October, mainly with user access requests, password resets, excel importer upload errors and questions regarding the web interface version.

PCS MONTHLY NEWS – SEPTEMBER 2019

Most dossiers are now in the Active Timetable phase. For the involved participants who accepted the final offer and set their lights to green in the system, the PCS has been automatically promoting dossiers to the Active Timetable phase since the 20 August 2019. This automatic process will continue until 14 December 2019.

September is always a busy month for the PCS team as lots of meetings take place.

First, the Test Group meeting was held on 09th September, as an all-day event where group members tested the new version of the system with prepared test cases and collected their test results. The PCS team also demonstrated the test results collected in August and evaluated, together with the group, the new test findings. Dossiers were migrated from the live system to PCS School – an opportunity to compare dossiers with the ones in production.

On the next two days (10th –  11th September) two half-day events were organised.

In the morning on 10th September at the PCS User Group meeting, participants received information on the test meeting registered issues analysis, about the process guideline\timeline and each participant had the opportunity to give feedback regarding the new PCS release date. In the afternoon, the RU Advisory Group meeting took place.

On 11th September, the PCS Change Control Board meeting was held. The CCB group members received an overview of the PCS Envelope Concept, a detailed plan for the development steps in general for 2020, a summary of KPIs and a budget report. The participants agreed with the PCS final release date proposal.

And last but not least, on 24th September, the Train the Trainer event took place. Participants received a detailed explanation of the major differences between PCS NG and EC, received a summary of the pending issues and were informed of the planned training dates. The PCS team presented the current documentation library ‘transformation’ steps and availability.

RNE also organised the TTR Plannery day in Vienna on 25th September. The PCS team was represented by Mario Team and Máté Bak, and held two breakout sessions on the TTR IT landscape. Based on the feedback, the participants enjoyed the interactive session and found it very useful and informative.

To get an update and read more about PCS development steps and sprints, please click on this link.

In terms of ongoing user support, the PCS team has assisted 44 times in various issues in Sep, mainly with user access requests password resets, excel importer upload errors.

PCS MONTHLY NEWS – AUGUST 2019

A significant milestone was reached on 2nd of August as dossiers were moved from the Observation phase to Post-processing. Between 3rd August 2019 and 19th August 2019, the IMs/ABs/RFCs completed their final adjustments; then the dossiers moved from the Post-processing to the Final Offer phase. Finally, the Active Timetable phase has started already for involved participants who accepted the final offer and set their lights to green in the system. The system has been automatically promoting these dossiers to the Active Timetable phase since 20th August 2019 and this process will continue until 14th December 2019.

The PCS team has been very busy during the summer season, continuing to work on the PCS EC development. The focus was on preparing the test environment for the remote test meeting held in mid-August. Participants had the opportunity to keep testing the system and track their findings until the end of the month. At the end of the month, submissions were closed and issues analysed together with the developers. Participants were then informed about the results.

The ECMT (Electronic Capacity Model Tool) was released to production at the beginning of August, following a test phase.

At end of the month PCS team was busy preparing test cases for the next Test Group meeting in September.

To get an update and read more about PCS development steps and sprints, please click here.

In terms of ongoing user support, the PCS team assisted 87 times in various issues in July and August, mainly with user access requests, password resets, and fixing errors that occurred when sending dossiers via the PCS IP.

PCS MONTHLY NEWS – JUNE / JULY 2019

In the middle of June, a week earlier than usual, RNE organised the Technical Meeting in Prague. This annual meeting provides a platform for IMs/ABs/RFCs to harmonise the timetables on their borders.

Also in June, the PCS Team participated in the FTE C-D Passenger and Freight Traffic Conference in Ljubljana, where they helped with the harmonisation of international offers for timetable 2020 between applicants and IMs/ABs/RFCs. Máté Bak held workshops and gave a demonstration of the PCS Envelope Concept and the TCR tool strategies. Read more about the event here.

In the PCS life cycle, the Observation Phase started on the 2nd of July and will run until the 2nd of August. Within this period, applicants may check the draft offer they received from the IMs and make observations. The applicants are able to place their comments into the dossiers through the ‘Make observation’ option in a clear and structured manner.

The CMS support and management were moved to another department of RNE. If you experience any issues please send an email to the CMS Support or contact the support using the Contact form.

The ECMT (Electronic Capacity Model) Tool development has reached a significant milestone and is now in the test phase.

At the end of the month, the PCS Team was busy preparing test cases for the next Test Group Meeting.

The PCS documentation library update is still in progress and the PCS team has started the PCS master data clean-up and deactivating inactive users who had not signed into the tool for over a year.

Get an update and read more about PCS development steps and sprints here.

In terms of ongoing user support, the PCS team has assisted 60 times in June and July (status 12th July 2019) in various issues, mainly with user access requests, password resets, fixing errors when sending dossiers via the PCS IP and solving carry forward errors.

Last but not least, the PCS team is sad to announce that Jorge Campo has decided to take on new challenges and will leave the PCS team as of 5th August 2019. We would like to take this opportunity to thank him for his work, support and good mood that he brought to the office every day.

PCS MONTHLY NEWS – MAY 2019 RECAP

In the second half of May, several meetings were held at the RNE Joint Office, making the most of the time before the summer holiday period.

First, the PCS team organised the regular Test Group meeting on 14th May. In the morning session the constraints of the new PCS Envelope Concept (EC) were introduced, and the elements and inconsistency checks in the system presented. The test group meeting members had the opportunity to meet our developers (Netcetera) in person. Valeria Velinovska from Netcetera presented the migration steps and rules that apply in order to do a successful migration to the EC, and the planned activities. In the afternoon session, the meeting continued with free testing based on prepared test cases and real situations where Netcetera members walked around and assisted test group members with queries and resolving test case issues on the spot.

On 15th May, the PCS team held two half day events: the PCS User Group and CCB meetings. The PCS UG meeting, held in the morning, had a wider audience and participants received a summary of the changes made regarding the Envelope Concept. The Rolling Planning development and pilot had reached a significant milestone and Mate Bak presented the Rolling Planning process in PCS by means of a sample dossier. He introduced Rolling Planning deadlines, informed participants that Rolling Planning has been available in production since April and RUs/applicants can start to request it from August. Jorge Campo presented a brief overview of the results from the previous day’s Test Group meeting.

In the afternoon the PCS CCB meeting was held, where group members received a detailed overview of the necessary TTR IT implementation and planned steps for further development. Main topics were Big Data integration short- and long-term tasks and benefits, quick border overview, Flex PaP improvements, direct PCS – CIP & PCS – ECMT connections, code list synchronisation with a central repository, capacity band implementation and pre-conditions, the Rolling Planning process with the multi-annual aspect, a summary of the first quarter budget report and checked change requests. Sebastian Čarek presented the current status of IM registrations for the upcoming Technical meeting 2019.

On a third day (16th May) the PCS Training Group meeting was held. On this all-day event the PCS team showcased a dossier creation in Envelope Concept through a sample dossier. Participants received a detailed overview and step by step explanation of how to fill in basic data, how to use offset, how to add territory and use functionalities. Calendar constraints and meaning of alternative origin/ destination, created path and user variants were discussed. The PCS team introduced the new PCS login screen and links, and the group agreed on dossier creation naming conventions, and also on train numbering rules.

Last but not least, the PCS Technical Board meeting was held in Bern on 22nd  May, where Máté Bak informed participants of the PCS development strategy in TTR IT. There was a discussion of roadmap and development tasks until 2023 to fulfil TTR requirements, an update was given on the Envelope Concept, and further information was provided on the PCS IPv6 and PCS TAF TSI test connection status.

In terms of ongoing user support, the PCS team has assisted 37 times in various issues, mainly with user access requests password resets and PaP related queries.

PCS MONTHLY NEWS – APRIL 2019 RECAP

In April, the international timetabling process saw two major target dates for the 2020 annual timetable: The path request (X-8) and the pre-booking (X-7.5) deadlines. The new path request process ended with the path request deadline and the late path request process started on 9th April. 2019

The month was very busy for everyone: The leading applicants ensured that all participants agreed with the request, all path-related lights were set to green  and path requests submitted by 8th April 2019. Those dossiers where all the lights were set to green already were promoted automatically to the path request or pre-booking phase by PCS.

The Rail Freight Corridors were busy in this period as well and pre-booked the pre-arranged paths (PaPs) or reserved alternative PaPs between 9th and 22nd April. After the X-7.5 deadline they worked on returning RFC capacity to IMs/ABs.

The PCS team participated in the FTE IT information event on the 18th April in Basel, where Máté Bak and Harald Reisinger presented some details of the TTR IT implementation and also a possible strategy for PCS developments.

As a result of continuous development work in CMS, Filedepot’s usability was improved and became much faster than before.

The PCS team was also busy with tasks such as PCS Envelope Concept and Electronic Capacity Model Tool development and the sprint review meetings with the developers. In support of the TTR pilots, a new process type called Rolling Planning is planned to be deployed in PCS production, and the team has been testing Rolling Planning in a test environment. In the production system, and also in PCS sites, RUs have been renamed ‘Applicants’.

In terms of ongoing user support, the PCS team has assisted 51 times in various issues, mainly with user access requests, password resets, PaP modifications and offsets in dossiers.

PCS MONTHLY NEWS – MARCH 2019 RECAP

In March 2019, the PCS team participated in the  FTE B Passenger and Freight Traffic Conference in the beautiful city of Ljubljana, helping to reach the main objectives (to harmonise international offers for timetable 2020 between the railway undertakings (RUs) and infrastructure managers (IMs) to prepare requests for the feasibility studies). PCS users had the opportunity to get onsite support, and were able to fix various PaP issues in dossiers on the spot. The PCS team also got involved in the TTR IT national implementation and showcased the current status twice a day at the event.

Percentages of the involved dossiers during the FTE B freight conferences:

The CMS migration continued and the area of Train Performance Management was migrated to Filedepot.

In addition, the PCS team investigated the National Code List and updated the PCS maintenance area with the new Sprints (23).

Throughout the month, the PCS team was continuously working to meet customers’ growing demands, and helping to bring global applications together by establishing a connection between RNE Big Data and the PCS. Currently, data analysis and validation is in progress. For the PCS-CIP (Customer Information Platform) connection, a graphic representation of the number of PaPs in CIP is planned. The first report has already been generated, data quality checks are ongoing. The team’s work continued with ECMT (Electronic Capacity Model Tool) developments, where the main goal is ensuring the graphical presentation of the capacity model. As a result of continuous implementation work, a new geographical map was designed in the ITNDB tool. The update includes a new, larger version of the European map with borders and connections drawn in thinner lines.

In March, RNE also sent out customer feedback surveys. The feedback gained through these surveys provides valuable input for RNE’s aim to meet customers’ expectations and deliver a first-class, excellent customer experience across Europe. In the questionnaire, customers had the chance to rate the Service Desk response – resolve time, quality of answers, overall experience – and add additional comments to improve RNE’s services in the following areas: PCS, CMS, TIS, CIS and CIP.

In terms of ongoing user support, the PCS team has assisted 80 times in various issues, mainly with user access requests, password resets, modifying PaPs in dossiers and questions regarding subsidiaries.