Posted on June 2, 2017 · Posted in General IRO news, North West & Wales

David Langton of Trans Pennine Express talked to the group about the principles of Operational Planning and Timetabling, at TfGM Offices, Manchester on 16th February 2017.

One of the base elements in providing todays train services is a viable and robust timetable. Due to the stringent requirement for performance and capacity on today’s National Network, the need for accurate and compliant timetabling has never been greater.

An experienced train planner, David talked to the group about the principles of Operational Planning and Timetabling, as these form the base skills for any Train Operating Companies (T.O.C.) strategic planning function.

The Operational and Timetable skills are necessary to provide an optimum service pattern that will enable maximum utilization of the available rolling stock, and network capacity.

David started the presentation with a light-hearted quiz, to gauge the knowledge of the audience, and set the scene for the main event!

Franchising commitments and parameters were explained, together with their relevance to the Train Service Requirement (TSR), and how Train Planners were challenged to meet these requirements on the national network,

a. In accordance with Planning Rules,
b. economically, considering operational costs
c. in a way that fits in with other operators’ services.

Critical nodes, pinch point prioritisation, key parallel moves, junction conflicts, station turnaround times, platform end conflicts, and ‘flighting’ of trains were all explained and debated, together with the mitigations that could be considered.

The presentation considered ‘Stakeholders’ views, and a comprehensive overview of new timetable aspirations for 2017 West to East, and vice versa, which highlighted the challenges to provide the stakeholders with the service patterns they require.

A further element was given on the investment being progressed with regard to the provision of new and refurbished stock for Trans Pennine which showed the progress being made in these areas, together with an overview of TPE’s aspirations over the next two years.

The meeting included a Q & A section after the presentation, and the audience had plenty of time to enable some interesting debate to evolve.

Many thanks to David Langton, and the audience, for enabling such an informative and interactive presentation.

David Mason
Event Champion Operation Planning Masterclass