ECML - the saga reviewed, and a comparison with France

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In August 2010 the Office of Rail Regulation published a 'lessons learned' report on the ECML timetabling process.  Jonathan Tyler reviewed this document in the November 2010 issue of Modern Railways.  He noted that the preoccupation with process meant that larger issues were overlooked.  Perhaps the way to end drawn out arguments and mediocre outcomes in timetable planning lies in a fundamental reappraisal of railway organisation.

The ORR report is at :

http://www.rail-reg.gov.uk/upload/pdf/ecml-lessons-learned-report-200810.pdf.

Accompanying the critique was a timely account of the decision by RFF, the French infrastructure manager, to initiate a comprehensive overhaul of its national timetable in order to create extra capacity, introduce greater regularity and enhance network-wide connectivity.  RFF employed the Swiss integrated-timetabling consultancy SMA to undertake this task.  If France can justify the approach (and do the work remarkably quickly) why cannot Britain at least mount a study of the potential benefits ?

The articles were "How not to write a timetable" and "France adopts integrated timetabling".

They can be found here : Lessons_learned_Commentary.doc.

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