PCS MONTHLY NEWS – DECEMBER 2020 – JANUARY 2021

January has come and gone and it’s once again time for our monthly news!  With Christmas gone, we say hello to the New Year, as well as some exciting content lined up in January.

January is an eventful month for everyone, and we passed three significant deadlines. Firstly, the Rail Freight Corridors were busy importing their Pre-arranged Paths (PaPs) into the system to finalise and publish their catalogues by 11th of January. Secondly, in December, passenger traffic Applicants started their work to carry forward their dossiers for the next timetable period (TT2022) and they were still busy with carrying forward their dossiers until the 18th of January to get ready for the first automatic promotion deadline. And lastly, the FTE A Passenger traffic online coordination conference was held 12th – 15th January, where participants harmonised their trains for timetable 2022. Applicants prepared their feasibility study requests for the international passenger trains, and they submitted them on 19th of January to the Infrastructure Managers (IMs) to carry out feasibility studies.

Rail Freight Corridors announced in January their regular annual training events and we started the preparation of the training sessions in close cooperation with the RFCs. The trainings will be held 15th –  19th February. In this year the training series is split into beginner or advanced user groups where PCS users can gain knowledge of the new PCS GUI elements, resolving calendar consistency (avoiding overlapping days), harmonising borders (warning in case of non-harmonised borders), using multiple PaPs even in the territory for different days, and with using local times and time zones.

If you are interested, please register for the events:

  • 5th February, 09:00-11:00 via MS Teams, General RNE training for beginner users (register)
  • 15th February, 14:00-16:00 via MS Teams, General RNE training for advanced users (register)
  • 16th February, 09:00-11:00 via MS Teams, RFC-specific training held by Group 2 (see information on RFC groups below) (register)
  • 16th February, 11:00-13:00 via MS Teams, General RNE training for beginner users (register)
  • 16th February, 14:00-16:00 via MS Teams, RFC-specific training held by Group 1 (register)
  • 17th February, 09:00-11:00 via MS Teams, RFC-specific training held by Group 3 (register)
  • 17th February, 11:00-13:00 via MS Teams, General RNE training for advanced users (register)
  • 17th February, 14:00-16:00 via MS Teams, RFC-specific training held by Group 2 (register)
  • 18th February, 09:00-11:00 via MS Teams, RFC-specific training held by Group 1 (register)
  • 18th February, 14:00-16:00 via MS Teams, RFC-specific training held by Group 3 (register)
  • 19th February, 09:00-11:00 via MS Teams, RFC-specific training held by Group 2 (register)

 

 RFC Group 1: jointly organised by RFC North Sea-Med, Atlantic, Mediterranean, and North Sea-Baltic

RFC Group 2: jointly organised by RFC Baltic-Adriatic, Orient/East-Med, North Sea-Baltic, Rhine-Danube, Alpine-Western Balkan, and Amber

RFC Group 3: jointly organised by RFC Rhine-Alpine, North Sea-Med, Scan-Med, and North Sea-Baltic

Our goal is to continue to provide the best possible technical service and customer support, and the constantly evolving PCS shall help users to go about their daily business comfortably with the following new features:

  • Edit/delete comments
  • Territory check-in Applicant path step of the wizard.
  • Arrival and departure time should be marked as a required field when adding a subpath/territory in the existing dossier or creating a dossier from the wizard with two territories,
  • BigDat integration between PCS with daily synchronization
  • Parameter changes for removed values
  • New excel import for PaPs and catalogs
  • Operation Points View – add/edit options for countries, not in CRD
  • Loco type structure and national activity types adjusted to be in line with TAF-TSI structure

Many more new elements are published in our CMS PCS space under PCS history book to make the information available to everyone. Click each chapter’s link to read more in detail: https://cms.rne.eu/node/30476/pcs-history

We do not leave ECMT development lagging behind PCS. Our ECMT users can check out some interesting new changes and visit the ECMT site sprint reviews for detailed information on:

  • Criss-crossing objects with offset
  • Delete/remove location
  • Key enter should start a search (bug)
  • Remove day from the calendar (bug)
  • Detecting overlapping objects (optimisation)
  • Disabled save option for path editing
  • Chart loading upon user trigger
  • Open object automatically in new tab
  • Detect overlapping objects

 

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 2020

The PCS Team is planning to organise trainings in February with the RFCs where PCS users can become more familiar with the new PCS functions:

  • new GUI elements,
  • how to solve the calendar consistency (avoiding overlapping days),
  • how to harmonise borders (warning on not harmonised borders),
  • how to apply borders properly,
  • how to select PaPs belonging to multiple PaP IDs even on the same territory for different days and
  • how to use local times and time zones.

Dates will be published.

Currently, passenger traffic users are working on the carry forward of the dossiers for the next timetable period (TT2022), then, they will promote the dossiers to the Harmonisation phase and the Feasibility Study process can start.

The RFCs are busy preparing their Pre-Arranged Products (PaPs) in PCS for the next timetable period.

Also, the PCS Team has been constantly updating the document library, and extending with detailed information and screenshots.

The PCS team was busy testing the new PCS developments:

  • Updated the web-service endpoint to 6.1
  • Implemented Loco type WS operations according to the migration guide (getLocoTypes, ImportLocoTypes, UpdateLocoTypes, RemoLoco and getAllTypesOfLoco)
  • Improved comments and the edit/delete comment options are available. The comment is a personal post and not related to the agency, so it is possible to edit/delete your comments. Once a comment is deleted by the creator PCS hides the already entered comment and text will be shown: ‘Deleted comment’.
  • Territory check-in Applicant path step of the wizard (FTE CR) Question marks indicate the mandatory fields. Like the departure time at origin.
  • Autosuggestion for free text IM parameters (FTE CR). Meaning the autosuggestion option is enabled only for the string type national IM parameters.
  • Define train weight/length as recommendation or restriction for the PaPs. If bigger than recommended, PCS highlights it with a yellow warning below
  • Rearrange all actions in the geography view. The territory or all sub-path related actions and Actions related to one sub-path
  • BigData integration is in progress and we were working on location mapping between PCS and CRD. The changes were deployed on production and test 3, but mapping was run only in Test3. Our goal is that PCS production is synchronizing with CRD and Test systems are synchronized with production.

The efforts to solve ECMT conflict detection issues are fixed. The entire detecting algorithm needed to be adjusted because the offset related objects were not being detected correctly. There were some bug fixing:

  • In the search when using dash (-) in the search field
  • Error message after cloning an object
  • Line criss-cross objects direction problem
  • Direction filter

To read more about what happened this month check out the sprint review in detail:

https://cms.rne.eu/ecmt/discussions/20201022-sprint-review

Or get an update on previous sprint reviews by visiting the following link: https://cms.rne.eu/ecmt/discussions.

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 36 times in various issues in November, mainly with user management activities, carry-forward, Path Alteration/modification issues, loco type registration and PaP excels import sheet questions.

PCS MONTHLY NEWS – OCTOBER 2020

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, PCS has been automatically promoting dossiers to the Active Timetable phase from August 25 and will continue until December 12, at 03:00 am.

If your dossier is still in the Final Offer phase, please do not forget to set your lights to green to make the automatic promotion work!

The PCS Team has been constantly updating the document library and extending it with detailed information and screenshots.

Several new PCS developments were tested:

  • Adjustment of the Activity type model
  • Fix for translated messages issue
  • Changed loco type structure to be inline with TAF/TSI
  • Bulk deletion of sub-paths with PaPs
  • Netcetera is continuing their work to develop and implement the FTE CR’s in phase II
  • BigData integration is in progress and we were working on location mapping between PCS and CRD

The efforts to solve the ECMT conflict detection issues are fixed. The entire detecting algorithm needed to be adjusted because the offset related objects were not being detected correctly.

To read more about what happened this month check out the sprint review in detail:

https://cms.rne.eu/ecmt/discussions/20201022-sprint-review

Or get an update on previous sprint reviews by visiting the following link: https://cms.rne.eu/ecmt/discussions.

The PCS Envelope Concept version was released nearly a year ago. Since then, a lot has changed in the structure and the user interface. We have sent out the PCS Survey to collect your thoughts. Thank you for sending your feedback to help us to improve our services!

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 20 times in various issues in October, mainly with user management activities, PAMT report, and PaP excels import sheet questions.

PCS Offline 23.11.2020, 09:00 – 17:00

Dear PCS Users,

We would like to inform you that the migration to the new data center of RNE will take place next week 23.11.2020 Monday from 09:00 to 17:00. During this period, users will not be able to log into the system or will have difficulty working on the same. For this reason I ask you to accept our apology and try to avoid using this application on that day.

Thank you very much for your understanding!

RailNetEurope

PCS MONTHLY NEWS – SEPTEMBER 2020

September 2020 Recap

Mostly dossiers are already in Final Offer or Active Timetable phase.

If your dossier is still in Observation phase, please manually promote to Post-Processing phase for the automatic promotions to work! Do not forget to set your lights to green, otherwise automatic promotion will not work!

Final Offer

This automatic promotion between 8 August and 12 December checks acceptance indicators during the Post-Processing phase and automatically promotes green-light dossiers to the Final Offer phase.

Active Timetable

The Active Timetable phase has started already for involved participants who accepted the final offer and set their lights to green in the system. With this scheduled automatic promotion, the system promoted these dossiers to the Active Timetable phase from 25 August, and the automatic process will continue until 12 December, 03:00 am.

In the Active Timetable phase, the process allows Applicants to request changes to some elements along the agreed path by initiating a Path Modification process. For IMs, the process allows them to adapt the changes and fine-tune the originally agreed timetable by initiating a Path Alteration process.

The PCS Team updated the Path Modification and Path Alteration documentation and extended it with detailed step-by-step information with screenshots. For further details please click on the links.

The PCS team was also busy testing the new PCS developments:

  • Territory calendar (FTE CR ID 23): detects uncovered or missing running days by highlighting with border frame in the Harmonisation phase on a selected territory, which so far has not been available. In addition, it should be possible to view the calendar (with colours and frames) for any selected location in the territory. PCS also highlights days that are not covered in the previous territory.
  • Adjust the subject of all dossier-related e-mails (FTE CR ID 22): All notifications will be checked and aligned with the requirement to have the international train number and dossier name in the subject of the e-mail
  • Permanent options during editing (FTE CR ID 01): ‘Cancel’, ‘Save’, ‘Continue’, ‘Calendar’ buttons fixed as a footer at the bottom of the screen.
  • Add PaPs from several PaP IDs to a dossier at the same time (FTE CR ID 39): Added an extra multiple selection filter in the PaP ID column in the PaP search result grid after selecting the required RFC and directions to tighten the results.
  • Adjust the naming of the exported PDF file (FTE CR ID 19): PDF export name extended with Train_number_Dossier name_Dossier version number information.
  • Size of timetable fields (FTE CR 50): in Edge browser the arrival and departure time will be wider and better visible.
  • Adjust the Last Change Date grid column to include the time (FTE CR 04): the last change date column date format changed to date & time format on the GUI.
  • Agency data view
  • Big Data integration is in progress and we were working on location mapping between PCS and CRD

The efforts to solve ECMT conflict detection issues continued. The entire algorithm needed to be adjusted because the offset related objects were not being detected correctly.

To read more what happened in September, check out the sprint review in detail:

https://cms.rne.eu/ecmt/discussions/20200911-sprint-review

https://cms.rne.eu/ecmt/discussions/20200925-sprint-review

Or get an update on previous sprint reviews by visiting the following link: https://cms.rne.eu/ecmt/discussions.

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 67 times in various issues in September, mainly with user management activities, TSi variant ID issue and process questions.

PCS MONTHLY NEWS – AUGUST 2020

From Observation phase to Active Timetable phase

Observation

At the beginning of August, the Observation phase ended (7 August) and dossiers moved to the Post-Processing phase. Applicants had four weeks to check the draft offer they received from the IMs and make observations by placing their comments into the dossiers through the ‘Make observation’ option.

Post-Processing

At the end of the Observation phase, at 23:00 on 8 August, all dossiers were automatically promoted to the Post-Processing phase regardless of the colour of the Applicant’s light (blue, green, yellow, or red). The automatic promotion only worked for dossiers that had been switched to Observations by 6 July. Before the deadline, the leading applicant could also manually promote the dossiers. When the dossier arrived at the Post-Processing phase the IMs/ABs/RFCs’ lights changed to blue by default, indicating that they had to work on the requests.

Between 8 and 24 August, IMS/ABs/RFCs were busy, checked the applicants’ comments, completed necessary adjustments, and finished optimising the paths by setting their lights to green.

When the deadline for final offers was reached and not all IMs had set the acceptance indicators to green, the concerned IM was forced by national legislation to send the final offer and could start the partial offer process.

Final offer

The second automatic promotion began on 8 August and will run until 12 December. In this phase acceptance indicators are checked during the Post-Processing phase and green-lighted dossiers automatically promoted to the Final Offer phase.

Active timetable

And 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. With the third scheduled automatic promotion, the system promoted these dossiers to the Active Timetable phase from 25 August, and the automatic process continues until 12 December, at 03:00 am.

In the Active timetable phase, the process allows Applicants to request changes to some elements along the agreed path by initiating a Path Modification process. For IMs, the process allows them to adapt the changes and fine-tune the originally agreed timetable by initiating a Path Alteration process.

Also in August, the PCS Team updated the Path Modification and Path Alteration documentation and extended with a detailed step by step information with screenshots. For further details please click on the links.

The PCS team was also busy testing the new PCS developments:

  • From now on, the time-zone offsets are copied over at the first location when copying a sub-path with PaP
  • Big Data integration is in progress and we were working on location mapping between PCS and CRD
  • The implementation of the first part of the FTE CRs is in progress

The efforts to solve ECMT conflict detection issues continued. The entire detecting algorithm needed to be adjusted because the offset related objects were not being detected correctly.

To read more what happened in this month check out the sprint review in detail: https://cms.rne.eu/ecmt/discussions/20200803-sprint-review

Or get an update on previous sprint reviews by visiting the following link: https://cms.rne.eu/ecmt/discussions.

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 54 times in various issues in August, mainly with user management activities, observation, and post-processing process questions.

PCS MONTHLY NEWS – JULY 2020

In the PCS life cycle, the Observation Phase started on 7 July and will run until 7 August. Within this period, applicants are able to check the draft offers they received from the IMs and make observations. The applicants can place their comments into the dossiers through the ‘Make observation’ option in a clear and structured manner.

From 6 July 2020 to 7 August 2020 the system will check every night at 23:00 if there are any dossiers with all IMs’/ABs’ lights on green and will switch them directly from Path Elaboration to Observations.

In further news, the PCS Return/Error code site was redesigned to simplify the description column. It was also extended to include a TAF/TSI error code and code sample columns.

Further details can be found in this document.

The PCS team was also busy testing the new PCS developments:

  • Offset/Time improvements
    • In the read-only view
  • Added ‘Additional times’ field if the dossier contains additional times (public, earliest, latest) and moving the cursor over the text the times are shown
  • In edit view
  • Added new indication of the offsets. The offset icon’s background highlighted by a blue and an orange dot appears on the top right corner to emphasize the differences between the offsets default value (UTC+1, manual offset 0).
  • WS operation for sub-paths removal

A new web-service operation was added to removeSubPaths. Multiple deletions are allowed only if they belong to the same territory.

Parameters:

  • Path IDs
  • RU-IM Pair ID
  • New error code 674 has been defined – the selected sub-paths do not belong to the added RU-IM Pair ID.
  • WS Administration – Mediation protocol

There is a new navigation item in the top menu -> web services (no need for special URL as before). The first item under that is the mediation protocol.

Filter options:

  • Dossier id
  • From date
  • To date

Operation: only the ‘write’ operations are listed

Status: ‘success’ or ‘failed’

Agency is given, based on the user, but the admin user can select more agencies.

Users can also open the details of the mediation protocol. Left side, metadata of the protocol, on the right side the request itself in XML format, or the response, if that tab is selected.

A user role that has access to this navigation tab will be defined. Also, the dossier ID will be added to the metadata of the request, as currently searching the XML files takes a lot of time.

  • Preparation of the Big Data integration was started
  • Checking the FTE CRs based on the priority defined by the users
  • TSI_PATH_ID generation. It should be the RNE company code as company code when PCS is generating the PR or PA ID. Core element should be the ID of the sub-path.
  • Implementation of the new PA/PM processes with web-service operations

The CS teams is also busy testing TIL (PCS TAF-TSI mapping tool) outbound and inbound requests:

  • Submit path request
  • Release to path elaboration
  • Release to post-processing

The efforts to solve ECMT conflict identification issues continued. The entire identification algorithm needed to be adjusted because the offset related objects were not being identified correctly.

To read more what happened in this month check out the sprint review in detail: https://cms.rne.eu/ecmt/discussions/20200803-sprint-review

Or get an update on previous sprint reviews by visiting the following link: https://cms.rne.eu/ecmt/discussions.

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 165 times in various issues in July, mainly with user management activities, path elaboration, and observation process questions.

PCS MONTHLY NEWS – JUNE 2020

Even though the general travel ban caused by COVID-19 ended in June, meetings were still held online.

From 15 to 18 June 2020 RNE held its very significant annual Technical Meeting where all IMs/ABs had the opportunity to ensure the availability of the constructed/designed train paths and carry out the harmonisation process.

In the PCS life cycle, the Observation Phase started on the 7 July and will run until 23 August. Within this period, applicants are able to 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 PCS team was busy testing the new PCS developments:

  • Extended path variant and sub-path comparison drop-down information with origin-destination, validity period, number of running days and circulation days information
  • Comparison of timetables with common running days shows missing and/or extra running days, also the total number of days
  • However, hovering on the number or the small calendar icon below the information box, it shows an exact list of missing and/or extra days compared to the left timetable. If possible, we try to show the days in ranges and not all one by one.
  • Calendar comparison shows the detailed calendar, and differences are highlighted.

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 the meanwhile, the PCS team assisted the RFCs to fill in the RFC KPI report based on PCS for DG Move – for the Mobility and Transport Knowledge policy of the European Commission.

The ECMT was improved as well and each object type has now the ‘Detect Overlapping Objects’ option. The form with the search results is identical to the chart search options. A ‘Validate Band Timetable’ process was created to avoid situations where the user enters only one time for a station for a band.

Some bug fixing was also carried out:

  • corrected the TCR Traffic Measures – estimated delay minutes storage and display field format
  • corrected band adding problem

To read more details about ECMT development, please click on this link.

In terms of ongoing user support, the PCS team has assisted 115 times in various issues in June such as PCS IP error codes, user management activities, and Path elaboration process questions.

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.