Telematics applications for freight services

The Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/541 amending Regulation (EU) No 1305/2014 regarding the technical specification for interoperability relating to the telematics applications for freight subsystem of the rail system in the European union was adopted on 26 March 2021 and published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 29 March 2021.

The TAF TSI sets the functional and technical standards for exchanging harmonised information between infrastructure managers, railway undertakings and other stakeholders.

TAF TSI functions require defining

  • When (at which point in a specific process)
  • What (which kind of information and content ) has to be sent to
  • Whom (partner or partners) and
  • How (which format) the data must be exchanged between the partners.
  • Where (reporting point) location under contractual agreement where the information must be exchanged between the partners.

TAF TSI defines

  • What do we want to communicate (Defined TAF TSI Messages)
  • How we want to communicate it (TAF TSI Message structure)
  • When do we want to communicate it (TAF TSI Process)
  • With whom do we want to communicate (TAF TSI Process)
  • Where is the location we are talking about (TAF TSI Location Reference F.).

TAF TSI reduces IT complexity for single players:

  • Who are my partners (TAF TSI Company Reference Files)
  • Where (IT world) are my partners (TAF TSI Metadata)
  • How to connect to my partner (TAF TSI Metadata)
  • How to translate some existing messages (TAF TSI Metadata and Common Interface).

The TEN-T-funded Strategic European Deployment Plan for the implementation of TAF TSI (TAF SEDP) was developed by the rail sector in 2006-2007. The European Railway Agency has taken over the deliverables of this project which are now included in ERA Technical Documents (TDs) and are referred to in the annex to the Commission Regulation on TAF TSI as amended by Commission Regulation (EU) No 328/2012 . Changes to these technical documents are managed by the European Railway Agency.

Actually, the implementation has diverged from the original SEDP planning, therefore a new comprehensive and realistic plan has to be delivered. In order to effectively monitor and report the progress against this plan, an efficient sector-driven organisation has been put into place specifically to define and coordinate the work-plans of the sector stakeholders against the SEDP commitments supplied to Commission.

A new Master Plan was delivered to the Commission and the Agency on 13 May 2012. What this document shows is that the great majority (in terms of market share) of the European rail freight industry has presented individual plans addressing the TAF-TSI rollout.

The target date for functional implementation, without the Train Identifiers (TID) is established during 2018. The target date corresponds to the end of calendar year (i.e. 31/12/20XX), although some functions may come in earlier. Target dates were chosen if 80% or more of the respondents have indicated a final implementation. The target dates are based on the corresponding TAF-TSI function to be implemented.

These plans will then be synchronized, wherever achievable and reasonable, during a consolidation period ending end 2012 and will form a comprehensive Master Plan for the implementation of the TAF-TSI.

Sector Working Groups have provided a solid basis for the implementation guidelines, however these guidelines must be refined after the change management process on ERA technical documents is complete. The following implementation guides are published and were used as the basis for implementation:

  • Train Monitoring
  • Train Preparation
  • Short-Term Path Request
  • Wagon Orders
  • Wagon Movement
  • Reference Files
  • Rolling Stock Reference Database
  • Train Identification (TID)

Source: European Commission