TAP TSI is supported by Directive 2008/57/EC on the interoperability of the rail system within the Community and by Regulation (EC) No 1371/2007 on rail passenger right’s and obligations. . It specifies requirements and describes messages used, on one hand for retail activities, on another hand for RU/IM communications. In some specific cases Station managers are also involved in the communication.

All RU/IM messages described in TAP are common with TAF (which contains additional messages specifc for freight traffic). The common processes are related to path allocation, train readiness, train running reporting and service interruption. Consequently, messages are harmonised between TAP and TAF and gathered in the same data model.

Some elements are also common between retail and RU/IM communication and need to be harmonised to manage the interaction. This refers basically to some reference data, such as as company code or some commercial information optionnally used in planning messages.

The JSG is in charge of TAP/TAF RU/IM communication issues, including the cooperation with retail activities for common matters.

The technical specification for interoperability (TSI) for telematics applications for passenger services (TAP) has been drafted by the European Railway Agency. The Commission Regulation based on it has been adopted on 5 May 2011 (see press release  and memo ) and has been published in the Official Journal of 12 May 2011 .

TAP TSI will allow the harmonisation/standardisation of procedures, data and messages to be exchanged between the computer systems of the railway companies, of the infrastructure managers and of the tickets vendors in order to provide reliable information to passengers and to issue tickets for a journey on the European Union railway network, in accordance with Regulation n°1371/2007 on rail passengers rights and obligations.

TAP TSI refers to technical documents of the European Railway Agency. They are available on the Agency web site . Changes to these technical documents are managed by the European Railway Agency.

Three phases of work are required for the implementation of TAP TSI:

  • the design of the target computer-based system, governance and master plan (phase one)
  • the development of the target computer-based system (phase two) and
  • its deployment (phase three).

Phase one has three objectives:

  1. To define the data exchange system consisting of common components and of the interconnection of information and communication systems of stakeholders able to fulfil the requirements of TAP TSI.
  2. To confirm such a system from the viewpoint of technical and economic feasibility.
  3. To draw up a roadmap of the activities deemed necessary in order to implement the system, including appropriate milestones for the monitoring of the progress of its implementation by the Commission, the European Railway Agency, the Member States and the stakeholders concerned.

According to TAP TSI, The representative bodies from the railway sector acting at European level as defined in Article 3(2) of Regulation 881/2004/EC , together with a representative of ticket vendors and a representative of European passengers, shall develop the detailed IT specifications, the governance and the master plan as described in section 7 of Annex I and shall submit them to the Commission not later than one year after the publication of the Commission Regulation in the Official Journal of the European Union.

On 13 May 2012, the project team submitted the deliverables. These define, for instance:

  • Where can I (railway undertaking, ticket vendor, public authority, …) find a railway undertakings’ timetables ?
  • How can I (railway undertaking) be sure my timetable data files respect the data quality requirements of TAP TSI ?
  • Where can I find a railway undertakings’ tariffs ?
  • How can I (railway undertaking) notify parties using my data that I made changes to them ?
  • What are the reference data I (newcomer railway undertaking) need for operating a passenger rail service ?
  • What are the reference data that I (ticket vendor) need for selling rail tickets ?
  • How are reference data maintained ?
  • What is the governance for the subsequent phases of TAP TSI ?
  • etc.

The Phase One project also produced, in close cooperation with TAF TSI, a joint Implementation Guide for communication between railway undertakings and infrastructure managers, building upon the work previously undertaken by TAF TSI.

The deliverables are now analysed by European Railway Agency in accordance with section 7.2.4 (4) of the Annex to the TSI: The European Railway Agency shall submit a recommendation on deliverables submitted to the Commission not later than 2 months after receiving them. Then the Commission shall assess them on the basis of the recommendation of the European Railway Agency and, in the light of this assessment, shall take the necessary measures to amend the current TSI.

Source: European Commission