6th February 2014

Interfleet’s Timetable Advisory System (TAS) has recently been launched, with orders already received from operators keen to reap the benefits the innovative system can deliver.

Designed to operate on iPad or Android tablet devices in a driver’s cab, TAS provides the train driver with a range of information on how the train they are driving is progressing relative to timetable. If running ahead of schedule, the driver can slow down the train to save energy; conversely, if the train is behind schedule the driver can increase speed up to the line speed and minimise delay minutes. Modelled scenarios have demonstrated that running a train just to timetable can save up to 8% of energy-usage for operators.

Network Rail is an advocate of TAS and recognises the benefits it delivers. As such they are funding fitment for some of GB Railfreight and Freightliner’s class 66 diesel locomotives. A 20 driver Freightliner trial and a 300 driver/75 loco GB Railfreight trial will be underway by the summer, with benefits being seen immediately. It will also be implemented with East Coast Trains over the coming months.

Paul McMahon – Freight Director at Network Rail said “TAS is a simple solution that provides significant benefits both for the capacity of the network and on time arrivals. Interfleet is now working on TAS 2.0 and Connected-TAS is in the pipeline. Allocating an iPad per driver provides forward thinking operators the opportunity for other Apps to be used to improve efficiency and to make the driver’s life easier”.  

John Smith, Managing Director of GB Railfreight, said: “We are very proud to be working with Interfleet and Network Rail in pushing the development of this new, innovative operating system.TAS will play a crucial role in helping our train managers manage their schedules and in ensuring our customers receive the most punctual, reliable and efficient service possible.This contract exemplifies GB Railfreight’s commitment to creating innovative solutions in the rail freight industry that support long-term sustainable growth.”

Interfleet’s TAS system utilizes an iPad or Android tablet platform, providing for a simple cab installation as no separate antennas are required for GPS and comms traffic.TAS is a joint project developed in partnership with 3Squared, Network Rail, freight and passenger operating companies; 3Squared has developed the iPad app and Interfleet’s Software Solutions team has developed all other aspects of the concept.

Benefits of TAS for Operators

  • Improved energy consumption
  • Better train regulation
  • Reduction in the number of delay minutes
  • Avoids failure to stop incidents
  • Passengers arriving on time and not waiting outside stations
  • Simple cab installation

Features of TAS

  • Easy and intuitive user interface
  • Tells the driver whether they are early, on time or late and by how much
  • Uses the Network Rail published timetable
  • Route and locations displayed on a map for the driver to confirm
  • Main screen can toggle between journey performance or next station as focus
  • Actual journey performance is sent back to
  • Shore based application can keep control staff and performance staff fully informed
  • Uses TRUST delay reason codes
  • Helps to identify section running times, operational issues and potential capacity enhancements

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