Train Planning Data Structure

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See Reference_Data#Train_Planning_Data for the download link for this data, which is updated twice a year.

The Public Interface Format (PIF) file is a tab-separated, variable record length ASCII file containing the following sets of data:

  • Reference codes as used in CIF schedule files
  • Timing Loads used in train planning
  • Location codes (TIPLOCs), their type (TRUST, Mandatory or Optional) and, for many records, the geographical location in Eastings/Northings
  • Platform data, including platform number, length, power supply type
  • Network Links between TIPLOCs, including distances
  • Timing Links between TIPLOCs, including traction type, entry and exit speeds

The format of the file is straightforward:

  • The first field on a record is a 3-character field identifying the record type.
  • The second field is the Action Code, which will always be 'A' - Add. The action codes 'C' and 'D' should not be seen in PIF files from the Data Feeds platform, as they are extracted as reference data, and not updates to the existing data.
  • The subsequent fields are tab-separated and variable-length.
  • A single trailer record reports the number of records of each type in the file, and indicates the end of the file

Within each record, the 'type' column indicates whether the field is part of a record key, mandatory or optional:

  • P: Primary key - a field, or set of fields, that uniquely identify an entity instance
  • A: Alternate key - an alternate set of fields that also uniquely identify an entity
  • M: Mandatory field
  • O: Optional field

Data will be provided for P, A and M fields, but not necessarily for O fields. However, the field will still be present and will be empty, i.e. the file will have two TAB characters.

Contents

Field formats

The following field formats are used:

  • Date: DD-MM-YYYY HH:MM:SS
  • Time: HH:MM:SS
  • Duration: MM'SS
  • SRT: MMM'SS

All measurements are in metric units. Times use the 24 hour clock, with midnight as 00:00:00.

A single final trailer record defines the number of records of each type in the file.

Record types

Control Record

Type Field Format Length Values
M Record type Text 3 'PIF'
M File version Text 3 Interface specification version
M Source system Text 30 Database from which the file was extracted
M TOC ID Text 2 TOC identifier
M Timetable start date Date Start date of the timetable period to which this data applies
M Timetable end date Date End date of the timetable period to which this data applies
M Cycle type Text 1 I - Iterative, or S - Supplemental
M Cycle stage Text 1 0 - Base data from Network Rail
M File creation date Date
M File sequence number Number 4 Unused

Reference Codes

Type Field Format Length Values
M Record type Text 3 REF
M Action code Text 1 A
P Reference code type Text 3 See below
P Reference code Text 3 Up to 3 characters long - may be blank
M Description Text 64 Free-format text

The reference code types are as follows:

Code type ID
Accommodation ACC
Bank Holidays Excepted codes BHX
Service brands BRA
Business sector BUS
Catering codes CAT
Operating characteristics codes OPC
Power supply type PWR
Reservation codes RES
Sleeper codes SLE
Train class TCL
Train category TCT
Train Operator codes TOC
Train status TRS
Train publication status TST
Reference code types REF
Network Rail zones ZNE
Activities at a location ACT

Timing Load

There are several point-to-point timings (Timing links) across a Network Link. When timing a train across a network link, the timing link to use depends on the train formation, as well as its entry and exit speeds.

Point-to-point timings are not needed for every train formation, as many have effectively the same timings. Timings across a network link are defined for a variety of timing loads, each applicable to a number of train formations. The timing load to use for a train may depend on its class/subclass, planned load, planned maximum speed and RA number.

Type Field Format Length Values
M Record Type Text 3 TLD
M Action Code Text 1 A
P Traction type Code 6 Type of traction, e.g. 321, 153, 2x86, EMU
P Trailing Load Code 5 Tonnes (up to 4 digits) plus an empty/loaded character for freight. Blank for trains with a standard trailing load
P Speed Code 3 Maximum permitted speed for the timing load
P RA/Gauge Code 3 First digit is the RA number, then two characters for gauge - may be blank
M Description Text 64 Free-format text
M ITPS Power Type Text 3 The power type as shown in ITPS
M ITPS Load Text 4 The load as shown in ITPS
M Limiting Speed Text 3 The limiting speed as shown in ITPS

Geographic data

Some geography items may be dated, i.e. they may have a start or end date.

NOTE: The Easting and Northing values for locations are not guaranteed to be accurate

Type Field Format Length Values
M Record type Text 3 LOC
M Action Code Text 1 A
P Location Code Text 7 TIPLOC
M Location name Text 32 Free text
M Start date Date
O End date Date
O OS Easting Number 6 Ordnance Survey reference
O OS Northing Number 6 Ordnance Survey reference
M Timing point type T/M/O TRUST, Mandatory or Optional
M Zone Code Zone responsible for maintaining the record
O STANOX code Number 5 Station Number code
M Off-Network indicator Y/N 1 Y if the location is off the Network Rail network, or N if it is on-network
O Force LPB L/P/B/space 1 L if the running line code should appear in the timetable when approaching the location, P if the path should appear in the timetable when leaving the location, B for both, or space for neither

Platform/Sidings

NOTE: The Platform/Siding Length values for locations are not guaranteed to be accurate

Type Field Format Length Values
M Record Type Text 3 PLT
M Action Code Text 1 A
P Location code Text 7 TIPLOC
P Platform ID Text 3 UID for the platform at the location
M Start date Date
O End date Date
O Platform/Siding length Num 4 Maximum usable length in metres
M Power supply type Code A valid power supply type code
O DOO (Passenger) Y/N Driver-Only Operation allowed for passenger trains?
O DOO (Non-Passenger) Y/N Driver-Only Operation allowed for non-passenger trains?

Network Link

NOTE: The distance values for are not guaranteed to be accurate

Type Field Format Length Values
M Record Type Text 3 NWK
M Action Code Text 1 A
P Origin location Text 7 TIPLOC
P Destination location Text 7 TIPLOC
P Running line code Code 3 e.g. FL, SL to distinguish parallel running lines
O Running line description Text 20 A description for a non-standard running line code
M Start date Date
O End date Date
M Initial direction U/D Up/Down direction indicator - used for timetables and junction reports rather than physical line descriptions
O Final direction U/D May differ from the initial direction, e.g. where an up link merges in to a down link
O Distance Number 5 Distance in metres
O DOO (Passenger) Y/N Driver-Only Operation allowed for passenger trains?
O DOO (Non-Passenger) Y/N Driver-Only Operation allowed for non-passenger trains?
O RETB Y/N Is Radio Electric Token Block in use at this location?
M Zone Code Zone responsible for maintaining the record
M Reversible line B/R/N B - Bi-directional, R - Reversible, or N - Neither
M Power supply type Code A valid power supply type code
P RA Code 2 Route Availability number
O Maximum train length Num 4 Maximum length of train that can use this network link, in metres

Timing Link

Type Field Format Length Values
M Record Type Text 3 TLK
M Action Code Text 1 A
P Origin location Text 7 TIPLOC
P Destination location Text 7 TIPLOC
P Running line code Code 3 e.g. FL, SL to distinguish parallel running lines
P Traction type Code 6 Type of traction, e.g. 321, 153, 2x86, EMU
P Trailing Load Code 5 Tonnes (up to 4 digits) plus an empty/loaded character for freight. Blank for trains with a standard trailing load
P Speed Code 3 Maximum permitted speed for the timing load
P RA/Gauge Code 3 First digit is the RA number, then two characters for gauge - may be blank
P Entry speed Number 3 0 for starting or -1 for passing at maximum appropriate speed
P Exit speed Number 3 0 for stopping or -1 for passing at maximum appropriate speed
P Start date Date
O End date Date
M Sectional Running Time SRT mmm'ss
O Description Text 64


Network Rail Open Data Feeds
Data Feeds About the Feeds Account States Durable Subscriptions Example Code ( PHP / C# / Java / Ruby / Node.js) • Advanced UsesFAQ Release Notes
RTPPM RTPPM Feed
Train Movements Train Movements Feed Train Activation Train Cancellation Train Movement Train Reinstatement Change of Origin Change of Identity TSPEED Field Planned Cancellations Cancellation Codes
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SCHEDULE SCHEDULE Feed Schedule and Location Records Association Records CIF Codes How Scheduling Works Allowances
Reference Data Reference Data Feed TOC Codes CIF Codes Delay Attribution Codes Identifying Locations (STANOX, TIPLOC, NLC and 3-Alpha Codes) STANOX Geographical Areas Train Planning data
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