OPTIMA will contribute to a change of paradigm with regards to Traffic Control Systems , contributing to the enhancement of the capabilities of the TMS to cope with increasing demand, improve efficiency and contribute to Railway modernization, digitalization and automation. Table lists the impacts that OPTIMA will generate on Railway ecosystem.

Current situation
Paradigm shift and OPTIMA contribution

Train Traffic Control

Control by exception
Today’s Traffic Control systems are designed to support the operator’s capacity to react to disturbances and to solve problems and conflicts when they occur.

Control by re-planning
OPTIMA AF (Application Framework) will enable innovative modules for Traffic Management and Traffic Control. Using the new communication environment, they will enable advanced processes and automated data processing to optimise the flow of traffic and the decision making to deliver the service with fewer delays. This will increase the line capacity and and the resilience of the service to disruption.

Operator/ dispatcher

Rigid model 
Usually, a workstation consists of several separated information systems, keyboards, screens, etc. In this configuration, the possibility to create a highly collaborative environment and to share the information between different TMS applications is low.

Flexible model
OPTIMA aims to provide a standardised Operator Workstation available for any operator profile and business client application thanks to having the access to the whole of the data available in the system Databases.
A Standardised Operators Workstation will reduce cost for investments into workstations operations, both in HW and SW, it will reduce the training time of the operators and it will allow greater flexibility of the staff within the control center

Automation and predictive models

Reactive model
Automatic support systems are not predictable enough from the dispatchers point of view, and in case of disturbances, the operator shall take control over the situation, often having the automation system working against his/her mental plan. In some instances the situation exists where the operator inhibits all of the automatic functions in the affected area and solves disturbances manually, which increases the workload exponentially.

Proactive model
OPTIMA IL will enable automated Traffic Management Systems (TMS) to access to a diverse set of up to date data encompassing all aspects of the status of trains and infrastructure, timetables, and other liked systems such as Passenger Information Systems, weather etc. This will enable the automated TMS ling to take into account a far wider range and quantity of data than a human operator, and do so in a far shorter period of time (while the data is still relevant), to determine the optimal response to conditions or an incident.  OPTIMA AF will host innovative applications for TMS modules. To fully exploit their potential, the application will have access and be capable to analyse the whole data stored in DBs thanks to the innovative CDM created by OPTIMA.
Moreover, the distribution of traffic status forecast to asset management services will al-low much better scheduling of preventive service & maintenance activities and increase the overall availability and reliability of Infrastructure assets.

Passenger Information

Scarce and not updated information
Currently, passenger information is mostly provided at stations and related to train schedules. The information available on board is scarce and arrives with significant delays in case of disturbances.

Ad-hoc passenger information
PIS will be an integrated through OPTIMA IL, for which purpose a CDM specific Business service will be created, enabling passenger information to be updated in moments as soon as traffic management decisions are made. This extends the window for making alterations (such as platform alterations), increasing operational flexibility, whilst still giving passengers time to react.

System Integration

Separated management of critical and non-critical applications
Traditionally, a Control Centre for Traffic Management and signalling application is physically separated from non-critical management systems (Maintenance, SCADA, CCTV) as well as from external systems.

Integrated management of critical and non-critical applications
The OPTIMA AF will be compatible with critical and non-critical TMS modules: all the applications will potentially be accessible from any Workstation with the correct authorisations, with access managed with appropriate login and keys management.
Moreover, seamless updated status information of all the rail infrastructure assets and vehicles will allow automated and optimised decision processes for traffic regulation applications to deliver the system with fewer delays.

Standard interfaces and data structure

Proprietary solutions for Management Platform
The TMS systems are developed by different suppliers according to a concrete IMs need and built over proprietary solutions, not compatible with other systems, except for some communication interfaces and standardized applications (e.g. SCADA)

Standardised and interoperable solution for the management platform

OPTIMA aims to provide a solution suitable for any Railway operation, thus saving time-to-market costs and assuring interoperability. OPTIMA will validate a solution with participation of three IM from three different countries.

The standardisation of the frameworks, data structures and interfaces will deliver a reduction of the investment for new integrated installations linking several functional rail services such as Traffic Management, Maintenance Management and Energy Supply. Furthermore, it allows an IM a greater independence of the technological suppliers, resulting in a reduction in implementation and maintenance costs.