Events, Workforce, Certification & Training

Using technology to plan dynamically in times of uncertainty

vy rail

For rail operators, there is no part of their business that hasn’t been affected by the impacts of COVID-19. However, one area that has been increasingly dynamic, as the pandemic has continued, is the scheduling of the timetabled services and distribution of trains and staff to facilitate its delivery.

Several factors have affected operations since COVID-19 hit the world’s transportation sectors. These have included drops to ticket revenue from a lack of ridership, which has forced rail organisations to respond to reduced service levels – and find savings.

In addition, changes in patronage patterns have meant peaks no longer define demand from commuters in the morning and evening – requiring a rethink of where resources are required throughout the day, and how they are moved into position.

Furthermore, social distancing requirements are changing the way staff work, for example, where only one driver can be present in a train’s cab, or the number of staff in maintenance facilities.  These factors affect the rail operator’s ability to deliver the pre-agreed long-term timetable.

During Melbourne’s second wave lockdown, stage 4 restrictions have included a nightly curfew from 8 pm to 5 am. Train and tram services have been cut, with scheduled services changing frequently.

These rapid changes in an operating landscape require quick thinking and flexibility when it comes to resource management. With the need to coordinate and communicate updates and changes, having a capable and dedicated planning management system is key.

In an online webinar to be held on Tuesday, November 10, Peter Hausken, special advisor at Vy Rail, will describe how the Norwegian state railway has implemented technology to transform the planning and operation of trains and staff members.

Vy has had its own challenges when it comes to running and operating during COVID-19. In April, the state-owned operator of passenger trains, buses and freight services had to stand down over a thousand staff due to a significant drop in ticket revenues. An intelligent enterprise planning management solution was required to enable the resized operation to continue to provide essential transport services across Norway and Sweden – while planning for changes to operations in the future.

Vy Rail has been using Trapeze’s Enterprise Rail solution for this very task. Enabling real-time decision-making, and the allocation of resources, Trapeze’s system automates complex manual tasks using enhanced logic and data-based capabilities through its use of optimisation and data sharing with third party systems.

Using the data organised through Trapeze, Vy is able to produce highly efficient rosters and timetables, manage a large distributed fleet of trains, optimise timetables, monitor real-time traffic and deviations, handle planned and un-planned track closures, dispatch rolling stock and personnel to operations, and communicate with the entire workforce in real-time.

The Trapeze Enterprise Rail solution is capable of rostering and staff allocation, planning and reconciling a master timetable, facilitating day of operations functions, and employee self-service. Through automation, information sharing is made simple, and the risk of human error is reduced.

Above all, however, the Trapeze solution is made for rail, and has the rail specific tools that are needed by large and complex rail organisations.

The webinar will be held at 11:30 am AEST on November 10.

Register for the webinar here:

To find out more about Trapeze’s enterprise asset management solutions and how rail operators are using these tools on their network, read Rail Express’s article with Trapeze from our August edition:

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