Freight traffic efficiency needs dispatching systems
The development of the daily activities of vehicles, the permanent information on the real situation of operations, the possibility to create scenarios, all these contribute to the increasing quality of transport services that are planned according to the customers’ demands, traffic demands and economic agents’ requirements.
Dispatching systems are the best answers to these problems and to real-time information, which contribute to traffic efficiency while improveing of services provided by transport operators.
Dispatching systems provide information and solutions on the continuous flow of data integrated into the planning system, the optimization and programming of the staff activity, data concerning the rolling stock, statistics and evaluations, as well as rapid solutions in extreme cases, such as traffic perturbation, damaged vehicles, the condition of goods in specialized areas etc.
Freight traffic operators need these systems since they can exactly manage the rolling stock and their position, reconfigure the train construction, take into account the change of direction of trains, develop scenarios regarding the optimal movement of wagons etc.
The dispatching system is a tool necessary in efficiently preparing and executing an operation. It is necessary that all resources, from rolling stock to engine drivers, to function flawlessly and efficiently. Consequently, not all manual procedures should be used, but also optimization methods in creating rules. Information on the organisation of maintenance activities, freight trains and containers are transferred into a real operation.
“In preparing the rolling stock operation and functioning, the capacity restrictions of stations and depots have to be considered, as well as the limits imposed and the necessary maintenance after a period of operation. These include a service plan for the basic maintenance while taking into account the capacity of services. Apart from the planning system, the dispatching system takes into account the actual situation of operations and it is capable to react and re-plan the situation, where necessary”, declared for Railway Pro, Andreas Langenhan, Development Manager at IVU Traffic Technologies AG.
The dispatching system includes the possibility to monitor online all the demanded dispositions. For example, train operators can use the GPS to locate the rolling stock and can compare their real location with the location in plan as well as the train timetable. Moreover, the engine drivers can also have mobile equipments or search on the internet for information about terminals, the access to the established plan for the following days, the requests regarding special taxes etc. “After collecting the information, the operator is capable to compare the planning to the real performance which influences the activity organisation operations in a real and efficient manner. A short-time scenario planning is also possible enabling the preparation of studies and the identification of more efficient operations. During dispatching, it is possible to change the scheduling in short notice”, pointed out Andreas Langenhan.
All operations and the information are then stored in the system, and, as a result, the system delivers correct, real and in time information. The possibility of using the appropriate methods to plan resources, to organise different scenarios and adopt the best alternatives are essential in render traffic efficient, especially freight traffic since the freight transport segment is much more difficult to organise because it implies more activities such as the organisation of wagons depending on the capacity, the organisation of goods in stations and switchyards.
For providing a quality and performing service, the railway operator needs permanent and real information on its operation, maintenance of fleet of vehicles, the revision period, establishment of special journeys, as well as the processing of annulments and disturbances. Under the circumstances, the acquisition of dispatching systems has to be part of the strategic projects of a company, being a source of substantial growth of the efficiency level of traffic, improving both its services and those of its customers.
[ by Pamela Luică ]