Implementation of Trapeze Rail System for timetable planning, construction and publishing

Implementation of Trapeze Rail System for timetable planning, construction and publishing

The customer
Every day 100,000 people travel with SJ, the largest passenger train operator in Sweden.

SJ operates 1,400 daily departures and serves 160 stations between Narvik (Norway) in the north to Copenhagen (Denmark) in the south. With 5,400 employees working to ensure that journeys by train are safe, reliable, comfortable and convenient.

The challenge
In 2013 Trapeze Group Rail Ltd. was selected to provide their TrainPlan product in support of the TTS initiative as the production tool for timetable planning, construction and publishing within SJ.

The scope of this new system was to support both long-term planning (which was being done in a legacy mainframe system), and short-term planning (which was undertaken either manually or directly in the production planning system).

TTS (TrainPlan) would become the master system for all planned timetable data used within SJ.

Key challenges for this project were:

  • Aggressive timescales for mainframe replacement
  • Parallel development and implementation of both core TrainPlan functionality and new requirements to support multiple interfaces
  • Additional functionality required to support changes to key operational processes
  • Implementation into an “unsettled” IT infrastructure environment

The solution
Project teams were created on both sides where key roles and responsibilities were clearly defined and held accountable for delivery.

The decision was taken early on that there would be a clear scope which covered a core set of TrainPlan functionality delivered, and that change requests would be initiated to cover interfacing and any additional functionality required to support business processes. This resulted in a continuous introduction of new requirements into an already aggressive delivery schedule, but one of the key success factors for this implementation was the ability of the business to evaluate enhancements in relation to core functionality and prioritise them to meet business milestones.

The core functionality was planned for delivery in three defined sprints. This expanded to six during implementation to accommodate additional requirements. Functionality was continuously adjusted between sprints based on business needs and technical complexity.

Continual assessment and prioritisation of the functional requirements ensured that time was not wasted by the delivery team on items which were not of the highest priority to the business.

Challenges were met through open, honest, transparent communication at all levels, with both teams focused on finding and delivering solutions.

The results
SJ moved the fundamental core of the TTS (TrainPlan) product into their Production environment at the end of 2014, and have continued to enhance the functionality throughout 2015.

This fundamental core was comprised of standard TrainPlan functionality (including a running-time calculator from the RailPlan product), plus all interfacing and key enhancements.

This implementation provided SJ with a system that supports both long-term and short-term planning, provides a master timetable, and interfaces to all of SJ’s internal and external systems. But just as important it has enabled the decommissioning of the legacy mainframes system, and giv-en SJ a scalable, supportable solution for the future.

Customer benefits

  • Replacement of costly legacy mainframe
  • Timetable Master for all planning data
  • Improved data consistency and availability for downstream systems
  • Enhanced control and standardisation of key external interfaces

Keys to success

  • Open and honest communication at all levels
  • Focus on solutions, not blame
  • Clear scope and direction from the business
  • Pragmatic and realistic prioritization of business needs
  • Early identification and management of risk
  • Continual review of project governance to integrate best-practice