Train Management System (TMS)

Automatic route setting and time table operation

Time table operation is based on the concept that each train movement from a given starting location to a specified destination is assigned a dedicated time table for that movement. Such a train movement is identified by a so called train running number. Based on a time table, the TMS can automatically set routes in advance of the train. This will allow the train to run from the starting position to the (planned) destination without operator actions.

The train running number will identify the time table associated to the run, but also the train it self during that run. Observe that train running number and train ID are two different topics. Train ID is uniquely assigned to each physical train (a kind of registration number), while the running number is identifying a specific movement of a train.

The aim of automatic route setting is to set the next route for a train “just in time”. That is when a train is approaching a signal in stop, the next route must be set just before the train starts breaking.

A Time Table is governing the operation of one train while a Set of Time Tables can handle operation of more trains both at the same time and in sequence. Once a train has reached the destination specified in one time table it may start the journey according to another time table. Several trains may operate at the same time each according to their own time table.

Several trains may even run according to the same time table given that they do not start at the same time.

The operation of two trains can be interlinked in the sense that they e.g. have to meet at a specific station in order to use the same single track i opposite directions.

Train Running Number

In order to allow for time table operation for a given train, a train running number must be assigned to that train. This can be done in three ways:

  • Manually by the signaler at the HMI.
  • Manually by the driver at the DMI (if the DMI implementation allows).
  • Automatically by the TMS based on the train arriving at the destination of the previous train run.

If assigned, the running number of a train known to the system will be shown at the HMI.

Once a train is assigned a train running number the TMS will start setting routes for that train according to the time table. When the first route is set the RBC will provide an MA to the train. It is then up to the driver to start driving in the right direction. If the train is operated in mode ATO, the OBU will automatically select the correct driving direction and start driving according to the MA.

As the train moves along the routes, the next routes will be set until the train arrives at the destination.

TMS location

In order for the TMS system to determine which route to set and when, the location and movement of the train must be known to the system. In relation to time table operation, the relevant aspect of a trains location is from which signal to set the next route. Further it makes a difference if the train is approaching this signal or already is at stand still in rear of that signal.

Following this, the TMS location of the train will be identified by the first facing signal seen from the train.

As a train (in most cases) can run in two directions, two TMS locations may be identified for a train. In case the track network has facing points in front of the train even more locations can be identified. However, to simplify the design, only cases where there are no facing points between the train and the first facing signal will be considered.

Even if no routes can be set from a buffer stop, a train may still be approaching a buffer stop or even be at stand still in rear of a buffer stop. Such a situation could be the destination of the train run. To allow the TMS to idenify this case as well, the TMS location of a train will be identified by:

  • The first facing signal or buffer stop in front of the train, given that here are no facing points between the train at this signal or buffer stop

Given this definition a train may not always have a TMS location. A maximum of two TMS location can be identified for any situation.

Time Table

A time table is specifying a number of actions that - when applied in proper sequence - will allow the train to run from a specific starting location to a specific destination. It may provide alternative routes for part of the movement. Most actions will be route setting, but other actions like setting a new train running number when the train is at the specified destination may apply.

Which action to take and when depends on where the train is - its location - and if it is moving or at stand still.

The time table will be organised as a ordered list of TMS locations. For each TMS location one or more actions will be specified together with various parameters.

The next action (e.g. setting a route) will be triggered either by:

  • the train approaching the specified signal or buffer stop or
  • the train being at stand still in rear of the specified signal or buffer stop

Several conditions can be applied in order to manage the movement:

  • Set Route: Next route will be set when the train is approaching the next signal or optional at stand still in rear of the next signal.
  • Wait: Next route will be set when another train identified by a train running number, has arrived in rear of a specified signal.
  • Manual/Confirm: The signaler must set the next route manually.
  • End: The location of the train is the destination and no further routes will be set.
  • Next trn: The location of the train is the destination and no further routes will be set according to this time table. A new running number will be assigned to the train after an optional delay.

An optional departure time or departure delay may be specified for the mentioned conditions (where it makes sense).

  • Time: Next route will be set at a specified point in time.
  • Delay: Next route will be set when the train has been at stand still at the stopping location of the next signal for a specified time.

Time takes precedence over delay.

For each time table business hours can be specified. Route setting will only be conducted within business hours. Specification of business hours is optional and defaults to start hour 00:00 and end hour 23:59

Tine table operation

Time table operation starts when a running number is assigned to a train.

Automatic route setting can be disabled per signal or in general for all signals. This will prevent automatic route setting from that signal. In order to allow a train to continue, the “missing” route or routes can be set manually by the signaler. This allows the signaler to change the flow.

Automatic route setting for a given train running number (and train) will at any time have one of following states:

  • Normal (Light green): Next route will be set according to the time table.
  • Completed (Grey): The train has reached the destination.
  • Failed (Red): The time table has no route specified for the current location of the train.
  • Disabled (Yellow): Automatic route setting is disabled for the next signal (or in general).
  • Blocked (Petrol): Route setting is not possible due to conditions in the route (e.g. a conflicting route or blocked point).
  • Waiting (Dark green): Route setting is waiting for specified departure time, a delay to elapse or a meeting train to arrive.
  • Confirm (Orange): The signaler must confirm that the next route can be set.
  • Unknown (Light grey): No time table defined for the train running number or TMS engine is not running.

The above listed state is indicated at the HMI by the color of the running number.

Time Table Example

This example is based on following railway network:

B1         S2     S4               S6          S8         B2
        S1             \   S3             /     S5
                           S9         S10
 Station A                 Station B                 Station C

And following time tables:

Train Running Number 217
Time Location Destination Condition
/delay Signal
09:00 S2 S4
S4 S10
S10 S8 W 228@S3
S8 B2
B2 E
Train Running Number 228
Time Location Destination Condition
/delay Signal
09:00 S5 S3
S3 S1 W 217@S10
S1 B1
B1 E
Train Running Number 412
Time Location Destination Condition
/delay Signal
S2 S4
S4 S6
30s S6 S8
S4 S10
30s S10 S8
S8 B2
B2 E 147

Given two trains of which one is located at station A and assigned running number 217 and the other is located at station C and assigned running number 228. With the above listed time tables the two trains will leave their stations at 09:00, meet at station B and then continue to the opposite station.

A train located at station A and assigned running number 412 will start when the running number is assigned to the train. At station B it will wait 30 seconds before continuing. The train will pass station B via any of the two track depending on the availability of the track. Arriving at station C the train will automatically be assigned a running number 147 and may continue based on the time table 147.

Time Table Management


Web interface

it/wintertrainv5/design/feature_tms.txt · Last modified: 2022/09/11 10:53 by jabe