PCS MONTHLY NEWS – MAY 2020

Due to the travel ban caused by COVID-19, the PCS Team has been holding all regular meetings online.

First, the regular half-day Test Group meeting was held on 4th May. In the afternoon session the path variant comparison prototype proposal was introduced where Applicants can compare relevant path variants with each other in an advanced way. The simple PDF export was presented as well with extended information such as dossier level and common parameters, loco indents, dangerous goods, and fulfilled IM parameters. Máté Bak demonstrated a significant new feature in PCS where IMs are allowed to edit the reserved capacity. He explained the importance of the new feature and how it works, after which meeting participants had the opportunity to gain some practical experience with it.

On 5th May, the PCS Team held the PCS User Group meeting with a wider audience where participants received a status summary of the new path request dossiers, shared experiences about the dossiers’ quality control results and most commonly identified issues. Matteo Soldini introduced the RUs’ CCB procedure and current status. The PCS Team also informed participants that bi-weekly sprint reviews will be organised with free participation for CCB members. The second half of the meeting was used to go through the change requests, analysing necessity, and discussing further statuses (approve or reject).

The Quick Border Information report has been implemented in OBI (Oracle Business Intelligence) tool to help timetable planners to harmonise the border times among their paths at the border. The report is generated automatically in RNE OBI and then sent to the planners by e-mail.

The ECMT has been improved as well, however, most of the newly developed features are still only available on the demo or the staging site. The major feature currently under development will provide the possibility to present objects properly on overlapping lines. The feature is about to be finalised, but there are still some bugs to be resolved. Offsets in the timetables are now being implemented so that users can include very long dwell times for locations or very long journey times for bands or catalogue paths.

In terms of ongoing user support, the PCS team has assisted 185 times in various issues in May, PCS IP error codes, password resets, and PA/PM process questions.

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.

PCS MONTHLY NEWS – APRIL 2020

April was the busiest month for the PCS Team.

The PCS international timetable process reached two main target dates for the 2021 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 began on April 15th.

The leading Applicants ensured that all participants agreed with the requests, all path-related lights were set to green, and submitted their path requests by 14th April. PCS automatically promoted all dossiers with all green traffic lights to the Path Request or Pre-booking phase.

For Rail Freight Corridors it was a busy period as well as the pre-arranged paths (PaPs) or reserved alternative PaPs were pre-booked between 15th and 27th April. After the X-7.5 deadline the RFCs worked on returning RFC capacity to IMs/ABs.

ECMT (Electronic Capacity Management Tool) development continues. The bulk operation check-box bug was fixed, a notification added when selecting bulk operation, the diesel-only field renamed, versioning added to the login screen, searching and filter options extended with more features on object pages, number of results per page settings added, as well as the possibility to present objects on overlapping sections (only on demo site for the time being), and last but not least the calendar was improved by introducing an ‘exact day’ filter.

In terms of ongoing user support, the PCS team has assisted 281 times in various issues in April, related to dossier creation and inconsistent calendar issues, password resets, and PaP request questions.

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.

PCS MONTHLY NEWS – MARCH 2020

March is always one of the busiest months of the year.

Passenger traffic applicants and IMs analysed and worked on their own timetables, aiming to carry out the feasibility studies in time to automatically switch their dossiers from the Feasibility Elaboration Conference phase to Harmonisation phase by the deadline on 16 March. IMs / ABs unable to complete their analysis, manually switched their dossiers from Feasibility Elaboration Conference to Feasibility Study Elaboration and then to the Feasibility Study Result phase before the deadline (16th of March).

Freight traffic applicants were busy creating their path requests and allocating rail capacity to secure  smooth transport of goods.

In light of the restrictions announced by the Federal Government in Austria due to the coronavirus pandemic, RNE cancelled all personal meetings. To ensure continuous PCS support to finalise the harmonisation of international offering concepts for timetable 2021, the PCS team opened a support hotline under the FTE B Freight (23rd – 26th March) and Passenger (31st March – 4 April) Conference to assist and solve any issues without delay.

ECMT (Electronic Capacity Management Tool) development continues, the latest achievements being that objects are now displayed by segments, not lines, and users can use calendar templates to quickly copy/paste the calendar into the object.

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 269 times in various issues in March, related to dossier creation and inconsistent calendar issues, password resets, and PaP request questions.

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.