Completed Projects

PARTNER - Path Allocation Re-engineering of Timetable Network for European Railways

PARTNER will develop a solution providing an efficient and transparent access to railway infrastructure in Europe. This project is supported by the Fifth Framework Programme of the European Commission.

The main result of the project: A demonstrator to be on-the-field tested, addresses both the Infrastructure Managers and Transport Organisation companies, the former needing a system to

  1. speed up the allocation process,

  2. link to their legacy (timetable design) systems and

  3. co-ordinate over international routes; the latter requiring flexible and transparent means to put their requests and receive seamless response.


Allocation of rail capacity and charging on international routes, specifically freight corridors, are strategic for preserving the European railway business (and survival) on the market. Moreover access-to-infrastructure and pricing require to be strongly efficient and transparent, following EU policy directives and inevitable economic principles. This contrasts with traditional ways followed by Railways in their current planning, where more standard, automated processes are needed, and best opportunities from IT and telematic are to be exploited.

The referenced projects (4th EU Framework) are EuROPE-TRIS (Telematics), TRIP (Transport) and TRIO (Esprit), having provided the research and technological basis for application in path scheduling on long- distance route, cost of using infrastructure and workflow procedures. Participants from these also animated the present project, which takes additional resources from:

  • new EU directives guidelines for the rail sector (briefly known as the "infrastructure package") and the developed Technical Specification of Interoperability (TSI)
  • evolution and matured positioning of railways in the new market and institutional scenario (i.e. separation between Infrastructure Managers and Train Operating companies - IM and TO - respectively)
  • progress of information technologies through Internet, providing new flexible and low-cost solutions for access-to-infrastructure.

In addition new requirements have been recently defined within UIC (Union Internationale Chemins de Fer) and FTE (Forum Train Europe) for a system (Pathfinder) so as to support the same processes and re-engineer the traditional Timetable Conferences. Therefore our initiative aims to provide "hard-research" and experimentation for being input to this product definition (i.e. the more advanced functions which will be following the basic application layers).


... to the rail industry

  • increased market share and competitiveness of rail transport
  • more flexible responsive an accurate slot allocation
  • transparent charging
  • builds towards meeting UIC initiatives in timetable planning
  • delivers an one-stop-shop for short term requests for paths
  • introduces bid standardization across EU railways

... to the customer

  • increases and maximizes capacity on the rail network
  • eases access to infrastructure
  • reduces costs for transport

Project Partners

  • Rete Ferroviaria Italiana S.p.A., Infrastructure Manager
  • Siemens Informatica, Information System and Telematic Integrator
  • Siemens AG Österreich, Information System and Telematic Integrator, Railway Supplier
  • University of Bologna - DEIS, System Engineering and Operation Research Department
  • University Tilburg - CentER, Economic Research Centre
  • Futura Sistemi, Software House
  • Brenner BasisTunnel EWIV, European Economic Interest Group


  • DIMA (Mathematics Department), Università di Genova
  • Universidad de Santiago de Compostela
  • Università di Roma
  • NERA UK Limited

Project Duration

01.10.2003 - 30.09.2005

Dipl.-Ing. Andreas Lischke
German Aerospace Center (DLR)

Institute of Transport Research
, Commercial Transport
Tel: +49 30 67055-236

Fax: +49 30 67055-283

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