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Movement Planner System

  • Freight rail industry is a rapidly evolving sector with freight requirements expected to double in just over two decades. As reliance on freight rail continues to grow, so will the need for increased capacity and efficiency on the rail network. Industry is looking for smarter ways to reduce network congestion and increase capacity without laying new track and infrastructure.

    In order to achieve this, railroads are always striving to generate the best plan possible, starting from long term forecasts, down to equipment planning and weekly train schedule generation. But we in the industry know that even the best plan on paper will go through a “reality check” when executed, due to unplanned events like equipment break down, weather, or on-the-road obstacles. 

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    Movement Planner addresses the need for taking these unplanned events into account by quickly re-planning in real time, receiving up-to-date network information and translating them in the most efficient Line-of-Road plan.

    Movement Planner positions itself in between schedule generation and train dispatching, providing the dispatchers with a solution to adapt the current schedule to the real-time situation of the network. It comes in two versions: Movement Planner DS (Decision Support) for small operators, with simple networks, which provides support in the day-to-day dispatching decision making; Movement Planner, for bigger, complex networks, which provides automatic, optimized planning based on business objectives. 

 

Movement Planner is an advanced software solution that provides real-time traffic planning and optimization. It detects meet/pass conflicts and optimizes routes. With Movement Planner, customers can move freight faster, at low cost, using existing rail networks.

Movement Planner considers multiple factors such as train schedules, traffic-control systems and train movements relative to each other and then develops an optimized traffic plan for the trains throughout the network.

The result: Increase in network velocity. Increase in network capacity and fluidity. Improvement in on-time performance. Reduction in expired crews. Quick reaction to and mitigation of unplanned events. And millions of dollars saved in capital and operating expenses. 

Installed at Norfolk Southern, the system has resulted in a 10% increase in network velocity, 50% reduction in expired crews and significant improvement in on-time performance in key Georgia division corridors.

Key features:  Real-time planning & optimization

Optimal network plan with 8-12 hour planning horizon. Real-time traffic plan optimization, linking train operations to railroad business goals.

Conflict detection & resolution

Detects meet-pass conflicts. Provides for automatic conflict resolution using business objectives based optimization.

ETA prediction

Calculates expected time-of-arrival network wide for all trains and activities with +/- 5 minutes accuracy, 2 hours in advance.

Interactive train graph, automatic route setting support

Support for manual intervention. Ability to interface with 3rd party dispatch systems for automatic route setting.

Up-to-date, comprehensive view of network (network dashboard)

Web-based network status dashboard with configurable KPIs and historical analysis capability.

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    Make every dispatcher a better planner and manager.

    Movement Planner Network Viewer is a software solution that uses real-time network data to help dispatchers manage trains across the rail network. It provides support for quick and easy “meet-pass” decisions for all trains on the network, with train conflicts detection up to 24 hours in advance and ETA estimation accuracy of ±5 min, 2 hours in advance.

    The result:

    Freight moves faster, at lower cost, using existing networks. Potential conflicts are identified and delays are reduced. Overall, it’s a smarter way to run your rail operation. 

    Key features: Real-time planning support

    Network visibility and planning support, with up to 24 hours of rolling planning horizon.

    Conflict detection, resolution support

    Identifies potential conflicts 24 hours in advance. Drag-and-drop conflict resolution allows for evaluating the impact of decisions in advance.

    ETA prediction

    Calculates expected time-of-arrival network wide for all trains and activities with +/- 5 minutes accuracy, 2 hours in advance.

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