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Mobility and Transport

Telematic applications

Telematics applications are a functional subsystem of the rail system. This subsystem comprises two elements:

  1. applications for passenger services, including systems providing passengers with information before and during the journey, reservation and payment systems, luggage management and management of connections between trains and with other modes of transport;
  2. applications for freight services, including information systems (real-time monitoring of freight and trains), marshalling and allocation systems, reservation, payment and invoicing systems, management of connections with other modes of transport and production of electronic accompanying documents.

Telematics applications for passenger services

A technical specification for interoperability (TSI) for telematics applications for passenger services (TAP) has been drafted by the European Railway Agency. The Commission Regulation based on it has been adopted on 5 May 2011 (see press release and memo ) and has been published in the Official Journal of 12 May 2011 .

TAP TSI will allow the harmonisation/standardisation of procedures, data and messages to be exchanged between the computer systems of the railway companies, of the infrastructure managers and of the tickets vendors in order to provide reliable information to passengers and to issue tickets for a journey on the European Union railway network, in accordance with Regulation n°1371/2007 on rail passengers rights and obligations.

TAP TSI refers to technical documents of the European Railway Agency. They are available on the Agency web site . Changes to these technical documents are managed by the European Railway Agency.

Three phases of work are required for the implementation of TAP TSI:

  • the design of the target computer-based system, governance and master plan (phase one)
  • the development of the target computer-based system (phase two) and
  • its deployment (phase three).

Phase one has three objectives:

  1. To define the data exchange system consisting of common components and of the interconnection of information and communication systems of stakeholders able to fulfil the requirements of TAP TSI.
  2. To confirm such a system from the viewpoint of technical and economic feasibility.
  3. To draw up a roadmap of the activities deemed necessary in order to implement the system, including appropriate milestones for the monitoring of the progress of its implementation by the Commission, the European Railway Agency, the Member States and the stakeholders concerned.

According to TAP TSI, The representative bodies from the railway sector acting at European level as defined in Article 3(2) of Regulation 881/2004/EC , together with a representative of ticket vendors and a representative of European passengers, shall develop the detailed IT specifications, the governance and the master plan as described in section 7 of Annex I and shall submit them to the Commission not later than one year after the publication of the Commission Regulation in the Official Journal of the European Union.

Please look at the (EU co-funded) project web site for more information :

On 13 May 2012, the project team submitted the deliverables. These define, for instance:

  • Where can I (railway undertaking, ticket vendor, public authority, …) find a railway undertakings’ timetables ?
  • How can I (railway undertaking) be sure my timetable data files respect the data quality requirements of TAP TSI ?
  • Where can I find a railway undertakings’ tariffs ?
  • How can I (railway undertaking) notify parties using my data that I made changes to them ?
  • What are the reference data I (newcomer railway undertaking) need for operating a passenger rail service ?
  • What are the reference data that I (ticket vendor) need for selling rail tickets ?
  • How are reference data maintained ?
  • What is the governance for the subsequent phases of TAP TSI ?
  • etc.

The Phase One project also produced, in close cooperation with TAF TSI, a joint Implementation Guide for communication between railway undertakings and infrastructure managers, building upon the work previously undertaken by TAF TSI.

The deliverables are now analysed by European Railway Agency in accordance with section 7.2.4 (4) of the Annex to the TSI: The European Railway Agency shall submit a recommendation on deliverables submitted to the Commission not later than 2 months after receiving them. Then the Commission shall assess them on the basis of the recommendation of the European Railway Agency and, in the light of this assessment, shall take the necessary measures to amend the current TSI.

Telematics applications for freight services

The Commission Regulation 62/2006 concerning the technical specifications for interoperability relating to the telematic applications for freight subsystem of the trans-European conventional rail system was adopted on 23 December 2005 and published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 18 January 2006.

It was amended by Commission Regulation (EU) No 328/2012 of 17 April 2012, published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 18 April 2012.

The TAF TSI sets the functional and technical standards for exchanging harmonised information between infrastructure managers, railway undertakings and other stakeholders.

TAF TSI functions require defining

  • When (at which point in a specific process)
  • What (which kind of information and content ) has to be sent to
  • Whom (partner or partners) and
  • How (which format) the data must be exchanged between the partners.
  • Where (reporting point) location under contractual agreement where the information must be exchanged between the partners.

TAF TSI defines

  • What do we want to communicate (Defined TAF TSI Messages)
  • How we want to communicate it (TAF TSI Message structure)
  • When do we want to communicate it (TAF TSI Process)
  • With whom do we want to communicate (TAF TSI Process)
  • Where is the location we are talking about (TAF TSI Location Reference F.).

TAF TSI reduces IT complexity for single players:

  • Who are my partners (TAF TSI Company Reference F.)
  • Where (IT world) are my partners (TAF TSI Metadata)
  • How to connect to my partner (TAF TSI Metadata)
  • How to translate some existing messages (TAF TSI Metadata and Common Interface).

The TEN-T-funded Strategic European Deployment Plan for the implementation of TAF TSI (TAF SEDP) was developed by the rail sector in 2006-2007. The European Railway Agency has taken over the deliverables of this project which are now included in ERA Technical Documents (TDs) and are referred to in the annex to the Commission Regulation on TAF TSI as amended by Commission Regulation (EU) No 328/2012 . Changes to these technical documents are managed by the European Railway Agency.

Actually, the implementation has diverged from the original SEDP planning, therefore a new comprehensive and realistic plan has to be delivered. In order to effectively monitor and report the progress against this plan, an efficient sector-driven organisation has been put into place specifically to define and coordinate the work-plans of the sector stakeholders against the SEDP commitments supplied to Commission.

A new Master Plan was delivered to the Commission and the Agency on 13 May 2012. What this document shows is that the great majority (in terms of market share) of the European rail freight industry has presented individual plans addressing the TAF-TSI rollout.

The target date for functional implementation, without the Train Identifiers (TID) is established during 2018. The target date corresponds to the end of calendar year (i.e. 31/12/20XX), although some functions may come in earlier. Target dates were chosen if 80% or more of the respondents have indicated a final implementation. The target dates are based on the corresponding TAF-TSI function to be implemented.


These plans will then be synchronized, wherever achievable and reasonable, during a consolidation period ending end 2012 and will form a comprehensive Master Plan for the implementation of the TAF-TSI.

There are Implementation Guides available at the UIC Web Site . Sector Working Groups have provided a solid basis for the implementation guidelines, however these guidelines must be refined after the change management process on ERA technical documents is complete. The following implementation guides are published and were used as the basis for implementation:

  • Train Monitoring
  • Train Preparation
  • Short-Term Path Request
  • Wagon Orders
  • Wagon Movement
  • Reference Files
  • Rolling Stock Reference Database
  • Train Identification (TID)