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Date: October 2010

This eBrief is distributed to all Technical Users and License Holders of HP's Journey Planner, as well as subject matter experts of passenger travel information services in general. This eBrief provides information of recent developments related to the HP Journey Planner and HP Real-time Travel Information Services.

Enjoy your reading,
HP Journey Planner Development Team, Utrecht, The Netherlands

Just-in-Timetable module helps NS with updating Travel Information

The real-time information of the trains in The Netherlands is delivered to NS by the Traffic Management System of ProRail. The Traffic Manager processes changes only on short notice and publishes these changes just one hour in advance. Even in cases where the change is foreseen long beforehand.

In order to provide real-time travel information and real-time journey advices to the public for the long(er) term, NS felt the need to update the travel information from ProRail.

With the Just In Timetable module (JIT), which is part of the HP Real-time Journey Planner, NS got the tools to improve the real-time travel information. Changes which are made with JIT, such as cancelled trains or extra trains/busses, are processed by the HP Real-time Information Service in the same way as the real-time data feed from ProRail and likewise made available for the Real-time Departure Service and the Real-time Journey Planner.

This summer the JIT module has already proven successful during Sail Amsterdam, a huge event in the port of Amsterdam. NS adjusted the time tables to accommodate the extra 300.000 rail travellers.

Earlier the Finish Railways (VR) showed interest in the new functionality. According to plan, early next year the JIT module will provide real-time travel information to the frontliners and the travellers in Finland.

Extra Search Mode to comply with deregulation of the rail market

Next year, the deregulation of the Swedish Rail market will be completed. This means that any eligible carrier can apply for timetable slots in the Swedish network and run passenger trains.

To support the current Swedish operators (SJ, Veolia, Öresundståg and other smaller companies) a journey planner should have the possibility to promote e.g. SJ-only itineraries without loosing the "neutral and fair display" of itineraries consisting of all companies resulting in the fastest connections.

All carriers are cooperating together in Resplus today, meaning that all possible combinations of carriers are for sale by all carries. A possible development here is that some carriers choose to have a tighter cooperation with a smaller group of carriers and want to promote traveling within the group of carriers (compare this to the airline industry's Skyteam or Star Alliance).

The HP Journey Planner used to search for the fastest connection and as a result slower (maybe) relevant connections were suppressed. With the addition of the Extra Search Mode such slower connections of certain carriers are added to the advice. By adding the extra search, the HP Journey Planner is brought further in line to comply with the European rules for a deregulated rail market.

Heavy snow on Sunday 10th October between 06:22 and 23:57 hrs.

At least, that is what NS and ProRail will pretend.

NS and ProRail work hand in hand to make the railway tracks winterproof. One of the important measures is the introduction of a Winter Timetable.

Detailed plans are made to continue with train services even under extreme bad weather conditions. In order to validate the feasibility of this dedicated Winter mode of operations, a large scale test will be performed on Sunday 10th of October. This Sunday travellers are faced with different time tables: the sections are divided into smaller parts; the trains commute between two main stations on these short sections; trains will depart and arrive at different times than normal; travel times will be longer in many cases and travellers will have to transfer more often.

The Winter Timetable is fully supported by the HP Real-time Travel Information Services. The Journey Planner is modified in order to cope with two timetables being active at the same time. A journey advice is either based on the regular or the winter timetable, depending on the start- and end date/time settings.

Outcomes that matter.


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