The rationale for the OPTIMA project is closely linked to the high-level goals of the Shift2Rail (S2R) programme, and the Shift2Rail Advanced Traffic Management System represented by the Technical Demonstrator (TD) 2.9 in particular. This strong link is set up due to the scope of the IP2 open call that OPTIMA responds to, which has determined and clearly stated the necessity to step into the overall development of TD 2.9. Therefore, a significant motivation for the OPTIMA project is carrying out its role, contributing to the achievement of the objectives of TD2.9. However, before engaging on any project such as OPTIMA, it is good a practice and beneficial for a better understanding to have a clear vision of the specific rationale and motivation for the project, as well as the state of the art of the context where the project takes place. This way of proceeding will ensure the alignment of the project concept and execution with that vision. The main challenge of the open call which OPTIMA responds to is the “specification and design of a communication platform (Integration Layer) using standardized data structures and processes to manage the Communication/Data exchange between different services/clients and supporting TMS (Traffic Management System) applications connected to other multimodal operational systems”. The current status of the TMS and associated supporting clients/services (including those not yet integrated or interfacing with the TMS), as well as the motivation to integrate interfaces between the core TMS and associated supporting clients/ser-vices through a communication platform is briefly discussed further.
Over the last decades, main Infrastructures Managers (IMs) have deployed Traffic Management Systems which have been used to manage the operation of the railway system (see Figure 1) However, the existing interfaces of the TMS were not developed considering the scalability of the system and were generally limited to the core TMS. Therefore, the integration of new inter-faces with additional rail business and information services will require a duplication of ICT resources and large recur-rent expenditures. Another disadvantage of the current TMS is the lack of standardization in their interfaces which doesn’t allow to be benefited from its advantages such as the interoperability of the system with other similar TMS.
The new Communication platform demonstrator within the Traffic Management Evolution TD 2.9, will overcome all these disadvantages and bring additional benefits to the system throughout the implementation of standardized and scalable data structures and processes to manage current and future interfaces. A system with seamless access to heterogeneous data sources, both internal and external (e.g. environmental information) to the railway ecosystem will improve the ability of nowcast and forecast network asset status, improving the operation of TMS dispatching systems. A TMS integrated with asset status will also reduce traction energy consumption or optimise peak power demand in the entire network. An integrated and standardised TMS system will reduce significantly the equipment and engineering costs during the deployment or replacement processes (e.g. targeting system renewal). This cost reduction will be significant not only due to its integration and standardization but also to the improvement of market competitiveness.
OPTIMA Technical Objectives