OptiYard Newsletter – May 2019
OptiYard Newsletter – November 2019
Please note that some of these deliverables are undergoing S2R JU review and acceptance processes. At this stage this deliverable reflects only the author’s view and the S2R JU is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.
Deliverable D1.1 Project Management
This Project Management and Quality Assurance Plan has been prepared to guarantee the quality assurance process all along the project. The document is structured into the following chapters:
Chapter 2 describes the project management and organisational structure of the project. General information about meetings, organisation, risk management and conflict resolution are also given.
Chapter 3 describes document management; the documents to be produced by beneficiaries are listed, as well as the templates to be used for each type of document.
Chapter 4 describes the deliverable review procedure which will guarantee a proper quality process before deliverables are submitted to the S2R JU/EC
Chapter 5 covers the necessary steps to be made internally before disseminating results of the projects to ensure a coordinated approach.
Chapter 6 introduces the Workflow collaboration tool, focusing on access rights and document identification. This tool will be used for the storing, uploading and downloading of documents and follow-up of the progress of work, including status of deliverables and milestones.
Chapter 7 gives an overview of the Quality Assurance objectives and procedures.
This deliverable summarises the current state of practice regarding the operating process with freight assets (trains, wagons, locomotives, static and dynamic resources), data collection and information management systems in rail freight yards and nearest networks. Specifically, the outcome of the general analysis of operating processes with freight trains and the required data exchange showed, that handling freight trains in MYs is complex, where various stakeholders participate in order to fulfil the customers’ needs best way.
Two case studies have been analysed (MY at Česká Třebová and München, Mannheim and Hallsberg). There are already several IT systems in MYs that support the operating processes with freight trains and the concerned personnel. These IT systems, though, are specific to each country and every company. TAF TSI messages already support a wide variety of data exchange needs for processes in the freight rail sector. Each message consists of obligatory and optional information, what enables a flexible usage within different national IT systems but on the other hand secures a reliable data exchange. The Rail Sector is already exchanging several million messages within the TAF/TAP TSI framework every month. TIS is a strong selling argument towards RU’s customers: ‘The RU knows the position of the train’. The Česká Třebová MY and München, Mannheim and Hallsberg both operate a wide range of data formats for the data exchange between different software tools of the involved stakeholders. They are widely oriented towards the standard TAF TSI messages.
This deliverable looked a number of systems already fully TAF/TAP TSI-compliant, which currently handle data for around 1,6 million trains per year, some of these systems will be included in the feasibility and simulation test exercise of WP6.
Deliverable D2.2 Draft Recommendations for Improved Information and Communications for Real-Time Yard and Network Management
This deliverable sets out the findings of OptiYard’s Task 2.3. It builds on the project’s understanding of the physical characteristics of rail freight yards and terminals and the data required for the successful implementation of new concepts of real-time management of rail yards and their interfaces with the rail network.
The functions of rail yards and the typical operations performed in such yards, previously identified in Deliverable 2.1 are summarised and categorised in order to identify key issues affecting yard efficiency and capacity utilisation. Patterns for two-way interactions between yard and network in real-time are defined, so that the information about the current state-of-play in the yard can feed forward to the decisions on how to manage the network. The discussion of required enhancements in order to progress beyond the current state of the art is divided into two sections; firstly issues relating to the real-time operation of the yards themselves, and secondly improved two-way communications in real-time between the yards and the rail network.
The results of the above analyses are then summarised as a set of draft recommendations for improved yard and network information communication and management systems to be considered in subsequent work packages in the OptiYard project.
Deliverable D3.1 Definition of suitable simulation environment
This deliverable sets out the findings of OptiYard’s Task 3.1. It develops an understanding of the physical characteristics of rail freight yards and terminals and the data required for their management. It addresses the development needs for the Villon simulation environment, available to the project through the partner SIMCON. It specifies the requirements for a generally applicable simulation environment, considering yard and relevant network, to be applied for demonstration to the Česká Třebová and Trieste rail yards and interacting modes and rail network.
The rail freight yards and terminals represent a variety of situations which are present across Europe. The purpose of this analysis is to assess the capabilities of Villon in simulating the different situations.
Additionally, the data exchange and data analytics requirements analysed in OptiYard’s WP2 are considered. The purpose of this analysis is to identify the requirements that need to be implemented in the OptiYard simulations.
The results of the above analyses are then summarised as requirements to be implemented in OptiYard.
Deliverable D3.2 Functional and Technical Specification for the OptiYard Simulation Environment
This Deliverable represents an important milestone in the OPTIYARD project, as it reports on the work conducted in OPTIYARD Tasks 3.2, 3.3 and 3.4 in order to develop the functional and technical specifications for the selected OPTIYARD simulation environment. It builds on work reported in OPTIYARD Deliverables 2.1, 2.2 and 3.1 which have identified and categorised the range of operations conducted in railway terminals and yards and have examined the information and data requirements for successful yard operation. This work is used here in order to develop a fuller understanding of the yard processes, the operational interfaces between the yard and the rail network and the challenges of managing these more proactively through real-time information.
Section 2 reports on the work undertaken in Task 3.2 to develop a definitive and structured list of yard functions that will be required in the simulation model to represent the key elements of the OptiYard eco system, and discusses the processes and behaviour in the real-time operations and management of yards and surrounding networks.
Section 3 then reports on the work undertaken in Task 3.3 to specify the technical aspects in the selected simulation and optimisation environment VILLON, for the implementation of the required functions and structural composition specified in Task 3.2. The simulation environment will be sufficiently flexible to adopt future technology developments and computationally efficient enough to facilitate real-time decision-making.
Section 4 then reports the work undertaken in Task 3.4. Following on from the previous functional and technical specifications, this sets out a range of key requirements and characteristics for real-time data management and information exchange to enable successful real-time communications between the yard simulation environment and the surrounding network, in order to support semi or fully automated operation processes in rail freight yards and networks.
Deliverable D4.1 Yard and Network Simulation Model
This document addresses the Yard and Network models for the two OptiYard case studies: Česká Třebová (Czech Republic) and Trieste (Italy).
Its purpose is to record the modelling choices and their correspondence with the functional requirements specified in Deliverable D3.2  for future reference.
Deliverable D4.2 Yard simulation software for WP6
This document describes main properties of adapted simulation software (the actual deliverable D4.2) that has been used to create simulation models of railway operation on two selected yards (case studies) in Česká Třebová (Czech Republic) and Trieste Campo Marzio (Italy). This software will further be utilised for the work on WP6 – Business Cases – Feasibility & Simulation Tests, as well as during further development and cooperation with optimisation module developed within the frame of WP5 – Process Optimisation.
The main purpose of the simulation software within OptiYard project is to:
• mimic the real railway operation of selected yards (laboratory yard as a replacement of the real yard),
• provide real-time information about the current status of the yard for the optimization module,
• adopt decisions taken/proposed by the optimisation module so that these are reflected in further state changes of the yard model and
• to provide means for WP6 to assess main performance parameters (KPI) of modelled yards, so that non-optimised and optimised operation and performance of the yards can be assessed.
Deliverable D4.3 Validated models and simulator
This short report accompanies the validated models for the Česká Třebová and Trieste yards. The models are the ones used in the demonstration.
It is connected with OptiYard’s Task 4.4 “Validation of non-optimised models and simulator”. The purpose of the validation is to provide WP5 with models and simulator whose results are proven to
represent physical reality correctly, in order for optimisation modelling to be performed on a sound basis. Therefore, the object of validation here is not the final decision support system including the
optimisation model – addressed in WP6 – rather the “non-optimised” simulators of the Česká Třebová and Trieste yard-systems and interacting network in several scenarios comprising typical operational
situations based on past experience and field data. The validation process comprised the following steps that are described in this Deliverable:
- check of real-world field data provided by operators;
- processing of field data needed for comparison with simulation outputs;
- processing of input data needed for validation simulations;
- definition of outputs needed for validation (e.g. KPIs, ETA/ETD, etc.);
- design of simulation scenarios;
- development of test simulations, with possible iterations;
- comparison of simulation outputs with field data;
- assessment and quality check of results;
- possible feedback on model and software structures.
Deliverable D5.1 Optimisation of information and communications methods
This report is the first deliverable in Work package (WP) 5.1 “Optimisation of information and communications methods” of the Optimised Real-time Yard and Network Management (Optiyard).
In WP 5.1 research and innovation activities lead to the analysis, understanding and definition of optimized information and communication methods focused on Marshalling yards and the interaction between
network/line management and the operation management in Marshalling yards and Terminals.
In chapter 2 “Technological aspects of optimizing the processes of marshalling yards and their surroundings” of this deliverable are described characteristics of surroundings, organizing of operation and sources of MYs.
Sources of data and information to optimize the work of the Marshalling yard operator, infrastructure manager and railway undertaking are described in the second part of the chapter.
Chapter 3 “Interface design for inter-entity communication (Improved information and communication
WP5.1” of the report deals with the basic characteristics of messages among stakeholders are described. In the next part of the chapter, interfaces for planning are stated. For clarity, we present several possible
scenarios and their impact on communication between key stakeholders in the transport process.
WP 5.2 Improved decision support system on yard level is included in this report. It can be expected, that proposed interface as a base of communication between participants in combination
with an interacting optimization system will contribute to automation and efficiency of decision processes along the freight rail supply chain.
Deliverable D5.2 Yard Optimization Algorithm, Network Decision-Support Tool and Integration Framework
Deliverable D6.1 Business Case specifications and plans
Task 6.1 aims at organising the selected Case Studies of Ceske Trebova (Czech Republic) and Trieste (Italy) (1) to guide the research activities throughout the project from a practical industry-driven perspective and (2)
to ensure a coherent and harmonised demonstration approach. The coherency has been ensured by the involvement of all technical work package leaders (WP2 to WP5) and of all demonstrators at all levels of the
simulation, validation and feasibility tests.
The main output of this task is the production of a standardised demonstration plan useable by both case studies. In order to avoid duplication of activities, it was finally agreed that the demonstration activities
related to WP6 should be focus on the potential benefits of the optimisation capabilities designed by the WP5 partners for different scenarios. The validation of the yard models with field descriptions, processes,
simulation scenarios, outputs and comparisons is part of deliverable ‘D4.3 – Optimised Real-Time Yard and Network Management’.
Deliverable D6.2 Business Case Feasibility
Task 6.2 aims at compiling all activities and tasks performed by the two selected business cases/demonstrators: (1) Česká Třebová (Czech Republic) and (2) Trieste.
This deliverable contains the contributions of both demonstrators involved in all aspects of the project, either as ‘input provider’ (data gathering, process description, functional requirements…) and as ‘output validator’
(validation of the yard simulation software in a non-optimised environment and evaluation of the optimisation algorithms).
The results reported in this deliverable show that the production of an integrated simulation and optimization framework is possible. Both demonstrators, Česká Třebová (Czech Republic) and Trieste (Italy),
tested and validated the yard simulation software based on operational data and provided a proof-ofconcept showing that the results of the optimization can be at least as good as those obtained in a real-world
Three lessons can be extracted from the OptiYard project and should serve as basis for future development activities: (1) complexity of the data retrieval for both demonstrators, (2) the difficulty in designing a
simulator capable of replicating all the available possibilities in a yard management process and (3) the difficulty of the problem definition in case of implementing optimisation capabilities.
OptiYard is the first step along the ambitious path of optimizing and automating yard management. The consortium managed to show that such an optimization and automation is indeed possible but, as pointed
out, the lessons learned from OptiYard are crucial for future research projects on the same issue.
Deliverable D6.3 Socio-Economic Impact Assessment of Innovative Real-Time Yard and Network Management
This report aims to perform an impact assessment of the demonstrations performed in previous tasks. The demonstrators have been carried out in two different marshalling yards (MY): Česká Třebová hump yard and
Campo Marzio (Trieste) flat yard.
The impact assessment of the demonstrators has been carried out by means of several sets of Key Performance Indicators (KPI). For this, two sets of KPIs for assessing MYs and the surrounding network under
ideal conditions (fully measurability of parameters and unlimited access to data) have been developed. These two sets have been used for the qualitative assessment of the interaction between MY and its surrounding
network. In addition, from the initial KPI set for MY, two different sets of KPIs adapted to the singularities of Česká Třebová and Campo Marzio (Trieste) have been refined. After selecting both sets, the KPIs have been
assessed according to the outputs of the optimized and non-optimized scenarios for both MYs.
The KPI assessments for both MYs provide some hints about the benefits of the implementation of a realtime optimizer system, such as the reduction of the distances travelled by the shunting locomotives or the
labour time in Česká Třebová. However, the reduced time window of the simulation for both scenarios complicates drawing unequivocal conclusions. The qualitative analysis of the cross interaction of the MY and
its surrounding network provides an overview of the impact of the KPIs, The analysis also suggests that the sum of delays of the expected times of arrival (ETA) for inbound trains, the sum of delays of the expected
time of departure (ETD) for the outbound trains, and the arrival yard utilization factor play a central role in this interaction.
Deliverable D7.1 Data Management Plan
The aim of the Data Management Plan (DMP) is to manage data used and generated within the OptiYard project. It describes how data will be collected, processed, stored and managed from the perspective of external accessibility and long-term archiving.
More precisely, the DMP will address the following points:
1. Type of data that will be generated and utilised within OptiYard. This section identifies and describes:
• The input data that is utilised for modelling and simulation.
• The output data that is generated by the models and evaluations.
2. Standards used
3. How data is exploited and shared/accessed for their verification and reutilisation. The exploitation of data will follow the strategies of each partner concerning their business potential, in accordance to the exploitation plan produced in WP7, and in accordance to the access to data by the partners specified in the Consortium Agreement.
4. Data storage and conservation. An internal sharing IT tool called “Workflow Tool” is used by the project partners.
This tool will offer the possibility to allocate different rights to both the members and the deliverables or documents for a practical application of the DMP. The IT tool will provide access to project outcomes and documents according to the DMP policies established for each resource and target group.
Deliverable D7.2 Dissemination, Communication and Exploitation Plan
The aim of this document is to provide a dissemination and exploitation strategy for the OptiYard (Optimised Real-time Yard and Network Management) project and to describe the tools that will be
used to facilitate the wide-spread of information and knowledge from the results created by the project, among and beyond the members of the consortium (and beyond the life of the project). For
the dissemination of OptiYard to be successful, there needs to be a good cooperation between all the Work Packages throughout the life of the project.
In this respect, an overview of the dissemination and exploitation activities to be undertaken during the project’s life is going to be provided, followed by a separate and more detailed analysis of each