Communication between Traffic Control Centers

RNE covers more than 200 different border stations on 43 different state borders. Officially, 21 different national languages are used in communications between RNE IMs. Therefore, communication problems between traffic control centres vary significantly depending on which IMs are involved.

Several projects designed to improve communication are ongoing:

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RNE is deeply involved in the implementation of the TAF TSI. All TAF TSI working groups are trying to tackle all the information flows between IM and RUs that are potentially needed (including those identified as missing). In the end, implementation of the results of these working groups will have a positive impact on IM-RU communication. More information can be found in the section on TAF/TAP TSI.

It was clear that before long-term IT solutions can be available, short-term, pragmatic solutions for improving communications (especially at the operational level between Traffic Control Centres) would be needed.

Thus a multilingual information exchange tool, called ‘TCCCom tool’, was developed (originally as a stand-alone tool). In 2015, it was fully integrated into TIS.

In parallel with technical and functional improvements to the TCCCom tool, the “Guidelines for communication between traffic control centres” were developed.


TCCCom Tool

The TCCCom Tool was developed to overcome the language barriers between traffic control centres — thus supporting and facilitating regular communication between TCCs.


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TCCCom main features:

  • Available in TIS – single log-in to both TCCCom and TIS
  • Enables exchange of multilingual messages:
    • 8 Train-related messages (e.g. Re-routing of train, Train run interruption, Change of train number, etc.)
    • 4 Event-related messages (e.g. Incident advice, System breakdown)
  • Notification in national language sent by TCCs-defined e-mail
  • Implementation supported by the Guidelines for communication between TCCs.

During 2016, the focus will be on the further roll-out of the tool between IMs (where advisable) and further improvement of its functionalities, to make it more user-friendly, fulfil the requests from IMs and RFCs, and adapt the system to the current users’ needs. In the end the TCCCom tool will be easier to use; it will be accepted and used by operational staff.

Guidelines for communication between TCCs

All communications between neighbouring TCCs make use of different tools designed for their day-to-day traffic management business. This communication is not standardised with all partners. In some cases, TCCs are not involved in border communication at all and procedures exist only at the border station level, based on bilateral/multilateral agreements between IMs.

Generally, we can say that agreed procedures do exist as regards standard traffic management. However, some IMs may find that their border communication is not covered by any arrangements or might choose to replace existing agreements with something more efficient.

The aim of these Guidelines is to set up a framework of standard procedures and tools supporting day-to-day traffic management. These procedures fulfil the requirements contained in EU Regulation 913/2010 (Articles 16 and 17).

The Guidelines provide basic principles for a traffic management procedure concerning communication between TCCs at every level. Implementation of the procedure shall be covered by bilateral or multilateral arrangements, only if no procedures are in place already or if they are not working properly. It is not intended to replace existing, well-working bilateral communication with the new procedure.

These Guidelines provide only general rules, with no exact reference to existing tools (TIS or TCCCom). Messages mentioned here are general messages to be used in communication. These guidelines do not exactly define the way in which they should be exchanged. However, different possibilities are mentioned (e.g. fax, TCCCom messages, TIS messages, TAF TSI messages, etc.).

A detailed specification of how information exchange should be done should be agreed at bilateral or multilateral (e.g., RFC) level.

The provisions and rules described in these Guidelines are applicable and mandatory only for those IMs who have agreed, at the bilateral or multilateral (e.g. RFC) level, to follow them.

All downloads can be found here.