Operating Logic

Timetable imports

Finalised timetables

vias can import finalised timetables on a day-to-day basis, so that there are always timetables for the next e.g. 14 days in the system. The timetables are downloaded from an FTP server in the form of text files that can contain XML data or e.g. data with comma-separated values.

Timetable templates

vias can manage timetable templates that define all departures for an extended period. The templates must be in XML format. The templates can be downloaded as files from either an FTP server or a web service unit.

Real-time data

vias builds on the principle of dividing the railway network into track segments. These track segments can be defined through the remote control systems or by a GPS unit on board each train. GPS positions are translated into segments by defining rectangles along the track and then matching the current position with the rectangles.
The interface is divided into a general, common part, which handles everything that occurs when track segment information is received, and a source-dependent part that receives the actual position data packages. There can be several source-dependent parts. Systems with access to both GPS positioning data and remote control information have an algorithm to define which data shall be used.
When the interface receives a position from a track segment, it asks whether the segment shall be used for a status announcement on a station record. The status announcements are: WA (will arrive), HA (has arrived) and HD (has departed).
The interface can deal with information about track segments that the remote control system has currently allocated to the train. This information is used to determine which platform the train will arrive at at the next station. The display system can thus announce a possible change of platform automatically. This information will typically not be available in a purely GPS-based system.

Timing rules

vias has some hard-wired rules governing the earliest time when information may be displayed on platform signs, departure monitors or boards. The rules are hard-wired, but the times can be changed online.

Delay calculations

vias has advanced algorithms for calculating delays. When a train arrives at a station, its actual arrival time is compared with the timetable and any difference is added to the expected arrival time at subsequent stations. However, the difference may be reduced by time estimates calculated by the system on the basis of the route length and train type and the possibility of making up for the lost time.
Where there are several track segments between two stations, the system uses the track segments’ length to calculate when a train should arrive at a certain segment. If the train arrives late at this segment, the system calculates a new arrival time for the subsequent stations.

Detecting stopped trains

This algorithm is also used to detect whether a train has stopped somewhere on the track. In systems with GPS, this information can also come from the GPS system.

Automatic loudspeaker announcements

vias can be supplied with an interface to make automatic loudspeaker announcements. The interface connects vias with the loudspeaker system. Using a configuration front-end unit, the operator can define time-dependent and incident-dependent rules. Here are some rule examples:
• An Intercity train that is ready to depart and is at a platform can be announced for the first time 20 minutes before departure, then again at five-minute intervals until it has departed.
• Warnings about non-stop trains passing through a station.
• Platform changes.
• Arrivals of delayed trains.
• Expected departure times for delayed trains.

The interface has 19 defined rules. A number of parameters can be set for each rule, such as time for first announcement, time between announcements, and the train type the rule applies to. The text to be used for the loudspeaker system when the rules are activated is also a part of the set-up process.

Routines for cancelling trains

There can be quite a number of train cancellations in connection with planned or unplanned incidents. Such cancellations may apply to the whole route or just part of it.
vias has a front-end unit to deal with this. Here it is possible to define cancellations for many trains at one time by selecting a whole series of train operating numbers. The time period applying to the cancellations can be defined, so they apply only at night, for instance. There are many other options.

Online set-up

vias has a TrainSetup program that is used to define stations, platforms, train groups, relations between track segments and platforms, operator areas and places, etc.

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