New use case: Long-Term Circulation Planning (LTCP)

by Gulruh Farmonova ( (comments: 0)

To develop the railML 3.3 schema, the Timetable working group has created a new use case - Long-Term Circulation Planning (LTCP). LTCP helps railway companies in coordinating their schedules and resources for long-term operations, ensuring the smooth execution of railway operations.


The term "circulation” in the railway system describes how rolling stock is scheduled over time, determining the sequence in which trains and vehicles are planned to operate. The aim behind the optimisation of train circulation is to minimize required number of railway vehicles and ensure maximum efficiency of their usage. This also contributes to the reduction of the operational costs with less empty train runs.


The Long-Term Circulation Planning (LTCP) use case offers optimising the train circulation for long-term operations, such as for an entire timetable year or a seasonal period with indefinite time periods and vehicle types. It enables effective long-term train circulation planning based on railML customer needs while foreseeing requirements for encoding short-term circulations in the modelling.


By implementing LTCP use case, railway operators can transfer the data more smoothly from/between different railway software and share it across various parts of the railway system, including detailed train schedules and routes. This reduces the workload related to data transfer and leads to fewer errors in planning and scheduling. All necessary technological processes for trains/vehicles are also taken into account, such as maintenance, refuelling, cleaning, inspections and etc. You can see more information about data characteristics of the use case here.


LTCP use case was initiated by IVU Traffic Solutions at the 44th railML conference and received active contributions from leading companies including Hacon, IRFP, SBB, SMA+Partner, Funkwerk, PSI and Init. The main challenges that the working group and the coordinators faced in modelling LTCP were, among other things, to first create a common glossary so that clear communication of the issue was possible at all. Later decisions on the balance of human readability vs. compression needed to address. Furthermore, they discarded some ideas initially proposed for their increased complexity, such as the modelling of parallel train activities (e.g. cleaning and preheating at the same time). Despite these challenges, the collaborative efforts of coordinators gained its objectives in shaping LTCP standards.


We are always open for new coordinators who would like to join the working group to develop the use case. Feel free to contact our timetable working group coordinator for your intentions to contribution.

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