Freight Rail, Passenger Rail, Signalling & Communications

Optimising incident Response: Frequentis develops integrated solution

Frequentis Head of Public Transport Solutions Markus Myslivec told Rail Express how operators can respond to incidents more effectively and efficiently.

Public transport operators around the world are facing increasingly strict performance targets. Whether they are contracted or regulatory, service fulfillment and punctuality are monitored and reported on networks around the country, with operators expected to repeatedly improve performance despite networks getting busier every year.

Meanwhile, operators are expected to provide faster, clearer information than ever before, while continuously improving safety, and reducing disruptions.

The ability to efficiently respond to incidents when they arise is absolutely critical to meeting these targets.

Frequentis is an Austrian high-tech firm delivering mission-critical communication and information platforms across multiple industries.

In the rail sector, Frequentis is focused on promoting a high level of integration between the systems necessary for day-to-day operations, and those used when an incident occurs.

Frequentis Head of Public Transport Solutions Markus Myslivec says this integration is crucial to cutting down on the key variables in the management of any incident on or around the railway.

Initial response time, the quality of the decision-making process, and the efficiency of communication between responders are three key variables, Myslivec says, that can make or break incident response performance.

The Frequentis Operations Communications Manager (OCM), and Incident and Crisis Management (ICM) products are specifically designed to deliver this integration.

The product offering isn’t exclusive to passenger rail; many of its applications are on railways where there is no separation between passenger and freight trains.

The OCM offers a unified communications and control interface allowing rail controllers to communicate with numerous stakeholders across different networks and technologies, and make decisions effectively.

When it comes to incident management, the OCM is designed to act as the starting point for a paperless, efficient workflow.

“The OCM allows its operator to enter incidents as they occur, and also see all the incidents present in their designated area, through their console,” Myslivec explains.

“When an incident is entered into the OCM, the incident manager will be notified, and all the relevant information will be presented to them.”

By integrating the OCM effectively with the ICM platform, the first step of any incident response – identifying the cause and how to deal with it – can be directed to the appropriate staff and handled quickly.

“By introducing better integration you can already enter incident data into the ICM platform,” Myslivec says. “Then you have a better response time, because the driver of the train, for example, doesn’t have to repeat the details of the issue again when it reaches the incident response manager. By closer integration, you shorten down the response time and also reduce the complexity of the procedure.”

After serving as the point of entry for the incident response process, the OCM may also act as the front end, web-based graphical user interface for the ICM itself.

“This allows us to have a full integration,” Myslivec says. “How far this integration goes is up to the operation, and would be based on their procedures, and how they are structured.

“We would like to remove duplication, and provide information as soon as possible in this workflow; always in electronic form, and always with automatic handover between the systems. Without paperwork, the need to re-enter duplicated information is eliminated, and as a consequence the process becomes significantly more efficient.”