Brussels, 15 November 2017 – Hit Rail’s H20 Path Request tool, one of its new services designed to enable railways to meet the European Technical Specifications for Interoperability (TSI) , has been verified by the European Union Agency for Railways (ERA) as fully compliant. This opens the way for rail organisations to streamline their processes for handling path requests across Europe without needing to invest the resources to develop their own TSI tools.
Created as a Web App, hosted in Hit Rail’s HEROS cloud platform, the Hit Rail H20 Path Request tool allows a Railway Undertaking (RU) to carry out all the steps involved in requesting and obtaining Timetable Paths from an Infrastructure Manager (IM) in an easy and user-friendly way, requiring only a web browser. It is available in English, French, German and Czech, with the facility to add new languages as required. It conforms to the latest version of TAF/TAP (Telematic Applications for Freight and Passengers) and will continue to be updated as new versions are published.
Every operation of a train service requires the previous allocation of a path, given by the manager of each of the railway infrastructures over which the train will pass. The TAF and TAP TSIs have defined four steps for this process: the RU requests a specific train path, the IM responds with a path offer or path not available, the RU responds to accept or reject the IM’s proposal, and the IM replies with the confirmed path and a booking status indicating commitment to providing the path. This process, especially for smaller RUs, is often implemented in non-IT ways (such as by phone or fax), because of the development costs and the need for expensive special software. If more than one IM is needed, then each one has different rules.
The Hit Rail App provides a standardised process that has now been recognised by ERA as fully TSI-compliant. The RU submitting a path request can insert the details of the required path into a form on their PC, including all necessary elements, such as length, weight etc. The application performs syntax and reference data checks in real time, eliminating formal errors. A path request that repeats itself frequently can be stored and re-used, reducing the inputting time. Finally, the relevant TSI message is sent to the relevant IM or IMs and the offer is processed.
The ERA Compliance Report is the result of an exhaustive number of tests and the evidence submitted by Hit Rail of each form of Path Request messages for a range of passenger and freight services to allow ERA to review for compatibility with the requirements of TSI. ERA has published their Compliance Report and also passed its findings on to the TAF TSI Implementation Working Group.
Antonio Lopez, General Manager of Hit Rail, said: “We are delighted that our H20 Path Request App has now achieved this important endorsement of compliance from the ERA. RUs can now begin to use this tool to significantly ease the burden of managing complex interoperability issues, especially where trains are crossing borders. The ERA Compliance Report means that rail organisations can have full confidence that this easy-to-use application fully complies with the TSI standards.”
The ERA Compliance Report together with the results of the extensive testing is published on the ERA website at http://www.era.europa.eu/Document-Register/Pages/Compliance-reports.aspx.
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About Hit Rail B.V.
Hit Rail B.V. is a private Dutch company created in 1990 and owned by 12 European railway companies. Its purpose is to help European railway companies to carry out international projects in related fields of data communications and information technology. Hit Rail is responsible for managing secure international private data communications infrastructure and message brokering services on behalf of its shareholders and customers. Its services are used by some 50 railway companies from 21 countries. All Hit Rail customers’ data centres and company networks are interconnected by a pan-European secure IP-based VPN (Virtual Private Network) named Hermes VPN, which is supplied by British Telecom (BT) and managed by Hit Rail. In 2013, the company launched its HEROS platform as a family of solutions that delivers benefits to the railway companies across Europe, by enabling message interoperability across disparate platforms between railway applications in passenger, freight and infrastructure for IT communications.