Rail Freight Group (RFG) is pleased to respond to the consultation on the Network Rail ITTS.
Overall, we support measures to modernise the systems and processes associated with timetabling. It is clear that a modernised approach could deliver significant benefits for the industry, including better performing and productive timetables, greater efficiency and benefits in staff skills and engagement. For freight, allowing the ‘day to day’ timetable production to be more automated will enable skilled train planners to spend more time improving schedules and creating new capacity.
However, we recognise that this is a significant project for the industry. Whilst the change is essential, the process also needs to respect the needs of individual businesses, and the investments they have already made or plan to make in future. Any new system must also foster future innovation and developments, avoid obsolescence and ensure that the competitive market for technology development can continue to deliver benefits to the industry.