The MERITS Time Table Expert Group (TTEG) meeting was held on 7 – 8 March 2019 in Luxembourg at the kind invitation of CFL.
The TTEG is the community of Railway Undertakings that publishes consolidated timetables, services and station data (MERITS data) to be used by railway undertakings in information systems to support journey planners and booking activities.
28 participants representing 15 railway companies were present including one representative from EURAIL GIE.
UIC was represented by Marc Guigon Director of the UIC Passenger Department, Fabrice Setta, Senior Advisor for Passenger Transport and Joachim Baars, Expert on Timetables.
Mr Jean-Michel Gira and Ben Hari from CFL, presented the CFL organisation for timetable activities.
Marc Guigon and Fabrice Setta welcomed the participants and gave an overview of the agenda for the meeting composed of two half-days.
Fabrice Setta presented the outcomes of the MSB meetings concerning the MERITS new model and the official starting date of the MERITS integrated data. He gave the latest status of the signature of the Data Provider Agreements, explained the process of the validation MERITS user validation process and gave details on the MERITS catalogue. More information about the commercialisation of the MERITS data can be found here: https://uic.org/merits-database and the MERITS products can be purchased here: https://www.shop-etf.com/
Robert Jurisch – DB presented the current rhythm of MERITS data provision in the MERITS tool, after discussion the TTEG agreed to data provision on Tuesday and Thursday.
Angelina Rotolo-Piazza (DB Vertrieb, as data manager) and Joachim Baars reported on the MERITS data management activity and proposed improvements enhance MERITS quality. Issues concerning quality of data were discussed, they encouraged members to review their warnings and errors within the import and integration reports.
Georges Alberty, deputy of passenger service activity, provided an overview of the CFL activities and the huge development of passenger traffic which implies investments.
Frank Martini (HaCon) provided a quick overview of the MERITS tools version. He gave details on the next version 4.12 that will be implemented in May 2019.
Henrik Nyman – Silverrail representing SJ - presented the change Request to have the reservation code in the MERITS data linked to train services. The change request has been accepted by the group and it will be part of the next MERITS tool release.
The group did a brainstorming session on the evolution of MERITS. A round table was undertaken, which gave each member the opportunity to present his or her evolution proposal.
Marc Guigon provided general information regarding UIC and the Passenger Department activities.
Finally, Marc Guigon thanked Henk Hoppener, from NS, who will retire, and also José Antonio González from RENFE, who will not participate in the next meetings, for the huge work they did in the context of MERITS activities.
The next meeting will be held from 26 – 27 September 2019. The venue still needs to be confirmed.