Estimated time of arrival (ETA programme)

Forecast qualifier

Today, many IMs calculate Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA). However, almost none of them take into account the estimated time of handover (ETH) provided by its neighbour IMs if it exists, and simply assume that trains that come into their network arrive on time at the border. The ETA Programme aims to improve the accuracy of ETA for international trains by helping IMs to take into account the ETH of their neighbour IMs.

RNE is currently aiming for IMs to share train data information for specified points. Since barely no neighbouring IMs share train data information today, the ETA Programme is focusing on how train running information can be part of other IM’s forecast calculators. As a first step, IMs need to have a complete view of the quality of the train run information that is shared by all European IMs. Therefore, in April 2018, a Forecast qualifier was introduced into Train Information System (TIS). This qualifier assesses the accuracy of forecast messages. The qualifier will help IMs to be aware of current situations and potential improvements.

As a second step, the goal is for IMs to share forecast messages. During the second half of 2018, pilots will be launched with a focus on technical feasibilities and simulations of impacts before sharing train running information at the European level. The sharing of data will be via TIS. The goal is for all IMs to display forecast information with the same conditions, in order to work preventively.

Estimated Time of Arrival

Although real-time train monitoring is currently at a very good level, further improvements are needed in the area of monitoring the entire journey of goods (including First and Last Miles) and in the area of forecasting further movement, especially in case of big disturbances.

As the quality of forecast data depends on the quality of input data, RNE manages several projects focusing on the improvement of estimated time of arrival (ETA) / estimated time of hand-over (ETH).

Disclosure of train tracking information to Terminals and Applicants

The current legal framework, according to the TAF TSI regulation, requires the regular exchange of forecast data concerning trains only between IMs and RUs.

As shown in the picture below, market needs are not sufficiently covered by definitions in the current legal framework. First and Last Miles need to be included, as final customers need to calculate the estimated time of arrival of their goods. However, Terminals and other partners do not have guaranteed access to this information as it is legally required to maintain data confidentiality and also due to the fact that the interfaces needed in order to receive this data are not yet available to all partners along the logistical chain.

RNE aims to make forecast calculations as precise as possible. It is therefore necessary to develop interfaces for additional input (manual as well as automatic) by IMs, RUs and Terminal operators. Extended functionality is also needed to cover the First and Last Mile areas (e.g. from final destination of train via terminal to final customer).