How to import PaPs and Catalogue Paths


Introduction ***** NEW IMPORT SHEET****

It is a user guide that has a detailed description of the template excel file. It describes how to fill the data on your own and what are the rules to follow when importing the pre-constructed products: Pre-arranged Paths (PaPs) and Catalogue Paths (CT) into PCS.

  • The description and format of the Excel file
  • PCS front-end behaviour when the file is uploaded/imported
  • Errors and warnings that can occur

Catalog Excel file format

The excel import file consists of the following sheets in the following order:


The import excel file has the following constraints:

  1. no  hidden sheets
  2. do not change the sheet names
  3. each sheet starts from the first row (A1)with the column header. Some header has merged cells described later when introducing each sheet.
  4. do not change the colour of the header
  5. do not change the column header's text or order
  6. enter data in each row, the sheets can contain mandatory or optional blank cells
  7. delete blank rows

Note: please check the sheet before importing the file otherwise, the data will not be read properly and leads to errors!

All of these sheets will be described in more detail in the sections below.

Parameter set codes Sheet

This is the first sheet in the excel file, these predefined sets help to import the pre-constructed products into the system. It defines the train parameters and some additional information as OTHER comments.  These comments will be presented in the dossier in the common parameter section, in the "Comment" text area.

Parameter set code changes: 

  • Route class is added 
  • Reference loco indication is extended (still works if you don't have all uniqueness elements fulfilled)
  • "Min breaked weight %" cannot be 0 (tobe TAF/TAP/TSI compliant)
  • Parameter set code can be set with only the name and the agency (IM) while all other cells are optional

Columns definitions:

  • AGENCY: mandatory field, creator IM, should a be  registered valid IM agency in PCS, it is a text field
  • PARAMETER SET CODE: mandatory field, the name of the parameter, should be a unique name,  it is a text field 
  • MAX TRAIN LENGTH (m): optional field, number format, max. 5 digits long. The value must be greater than the value entered in the "Length of set of carriages" column.
  • MAX TRAIN WEIGHT (t):  optional field, number format max. 5 digits long. The value must be greater than the value entered in the "Weight of set of carriages" column.
  • MAX LENGTH OF SET OF CARRIAGES (m): optional field, number format max. 5 digits long. The value must be less than the value entered in the "Train length" column.
  • MAX WEIGHT OF SET OF CARRIAGES (t): optional field, number format max. 5 digits long. The value must be less than the value entered in the "Train Weight" column.
  • REFERENCE LOCO: the reference loco expanded with more new elements in order to import the proper loco type that has been registered previously in the system and published by the creator IM
    • TYPE OF LOCO: Allowed values: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.
      • 0 - Miscellaneous
      • 1 - Electric
      • 2 - Diesel
      • 3 - High-Speed Electric Multiple Unit
      • 4 - Electric Multiple Unit
      • 5 - Diesel Multiple Unit
      • 6 - Specialized Trailer
      • 7 - Electric Shunting Engine
      • 8 - Diesel Shunting Engine
      • 9 - Special Vehicle
    • COUNTRY: the UIC code of the country where the loco is registered. The defined value must be 2 digits.
    • SERIES NUMBER: only max 4 digits numeric value in order to be TAF/TAP/TSI compliant, it can be leading with the zero
    • SERAIL NUMBER: only digits. max 3 digits. If less than 3 digits are entered, the system will add leading zeros
  • PROFILE: optional field, container profile, should be a text field in the format of “P/C XXX/YYY” (for ex. “P/C 070/400”). 
  • PLANNED SPEED: mandatory field, number format max. 5 digits long. It must be less than the max traction speed of the loco type.
  • MIN BRAKED WEIGHT PERCENT: optional field, number format with 2 digits long
  • ROUTE CLASS: optional field. The valid value is the one from the available route class value list: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, C2, C4, CM2, CM3, CM4, CM, CE, D2, D4, D5, B1, B2, C3, D3, E4, E5, E6.
  • OTHER: optional field, place additional comments if needed,  it is a text field

For further information regarding parameter set code and mandatory train parameters in detail click on the links.


Activity Types Sheet

The next sheet is the "ACTIVITY TYPES" sheet. The definition of activity types for the locations is the same as today in PCS. It defines the activity type codes, the responsible IM agency with its description. You can add as many as you need, there are NO limits to adding the number of activity types:

  • AGENCY: mandatory field, activity types are classified according to the type of agency. Two types will be used: RNE or IM agency:
    • RNE: the pre-defined parameters based on TAF/TSI regulation are marked by RNE.
    • IM agency: It's a text field, IMs have the possibility to define their national activity types in English. The default language setting in PCS is English, and if you have other language settings then PCS translates. This information is not presented in the GUI
  • CODE IN TEMPLATE: mandatory field, the code is also classified according to agency type, described above:
    • RNE activity types: pre-defined word abbreviation (PD) and the 2 digits number (e.g.: pd01= Commercial stop)
    • IM's defined: free text field, it can be anything depending on the IM needs. It could be defined according to the RNE format.
  • ACTIVITY TYPE CODE: mandatory field, code of the activity type, this code is used for mapping purposes between the excel file and DB, text field with 4 character limitations. The mapping table is available in PCS under the Administration/Activity types submenu.
  • ACTIVITY TYPE DESCRIPTION: optional field, a brief description of the activity type, it's a text field

Note: Use a comma to separate activity types!

Valid formats are:

  • pd13,pd35 (without space in front and after the comma)
  • pd13, pd35 (with space after the comma)
  • pd13 ,pd35 (with space in front and after the comma)



The location sheet should contain all location names used in the catalog.

Columns definitions:

  • Agency name: mandatory field, name of the responsible IM agency where the location has been  previously registered and published in PCS, it's a text field 
  • Location name in the template: mandatory field, name of the location used in the template excel import, it's a text field
  • Location name in PCS: mandatory filed, location name in PCS, synchronized with BigData with CRD (Common Repository Database). 
  • Primary location code (PLC abbreviation will be used further in the user guide): PLC for the location. This information equals with CRD's primary location code, it's a number format 5 digits long
  • ENEE_code: optional field, ENEE code for the location, in a standard international format

Note: one location in one row, no matter if it belongs to the same or new agency name or country!

Rules should be followed when adding a location:

  1. Must enter location name into 'B' and 'C' column
  2. The ENEE code must be valid
  3. The primary location code must be valid
  4. There should be at least one code (PLC or ENEE or both but PLC code has priority over ENEE code)

There are several ways to resolve a location used in an Excel file to a PCS location:

  1. If the PLC is present, then PCS tries uniquely to resolve the location:
    1. First, only from PLC
    2. Next, from PLC and ENEE id combination
  2. If PLC is NOT present or no location was resolved with the 1 case, then PCS tries again uniquely to resolve the location:
    1. First, only from ENEE id
    2. Next, from ENEE id and location name from ENEE code
    3. And finally, from the ENEE id and "location name in template" column

If the operation can’t be uniquely resolved, then it displays a warning (or data error) message so that the user has the possibility to enter the correct value. This will be described in later front-end behavior.



It allows users to customize the running days directly on the import sheet and avoid manual correction after importing the PaPs.

Implemented a new validation in the calendar which is cross-checked with the TTP validity dates, so days that do not apply will be dismissed.

CALENDAR IN TEMPLATE: Name of the parameter that will be used in the TIMETABLES sheet as a reference.

The calendar presented for the particular year is divided up into months and days. Enter value "1" for the days when your train runs ( calendar bit days).



In the older version, it was possible to create the timetables (origin-destination pairs) on separate sheets but the new version contains all timetables in one sheet. One line is one PaP dossier. It has a new structure that can be divided into 3 main sections:

  • "Basic data": the column headers are wide because the first three rows are merged in the sheet. It contains the basic information for the pre-constructed products:
    • PAP ID: unique per origin-destination pair, a mandatory text field with 12 character limitations, do not leave empty!
    • DOSSIER TYPE:  optional text field, define the type of Flex or Fix. This information is not relevant to CT import. If this value is not present, the PaP will be imported as Flex PaP by default.
    • INVOLVED RFC: optional text field, number of the RFC in the following format: C02, C03 (C=Corridor & number of the Corridor). If the PaP is passing through more Corridors then these Corridors can be added as involved participants. This information is not relevant to CT import. Note: do not add your own corridor number, the is field is to define other involved Corridors!
    • DIRECTION: mandatory field, define the origin-destination direction. One PaP can have only one direction. This information is not relevant to CT import. It works the same way as before, and could be in the following format without spaces:
      • N-S or
      • S-N or
      • E-W or
      • W-E
    • ORIGIN: mandatory field, origin location where the PaP section starts, previously defined at the "LOCATIONS" sheet in the "LOCATION NAME IN TEMPLATE" column
    • DESTINATION: mandatory field, destination location where the PaP section ends, previously defined at the "LOCATIONS" sheet in the "LOCATION NAME IN TEMPLATE" column
    • PARAMETER RECOMMENDATION: optional filed, mark it with a letter 'X' if the parameters as a recommendation, the default value is a restriction. Recommendation means that later the applicants will be allowed to exceed the published weight and length values of the PaP.


  • Calendar: mandatory field, users have two options to define the calendar as full or as circulation day (Full calendar and circulation days columns)
    • Full calendar: enter the parameter value that is defined in the Calendar sheet as a reference for the running days
    • Circulation days It shows the weekly circulation days when the train is running. The train must run for at least one day! ! It works the same day as before in the old version, marking the running days with the letter 'X'. The column header consists of 2 rows.  The first row is 7 cells merged with the header name and the second row represents the weekdays 1-7 format:


  • Location: defines the PaP section sequence of locations starting from the Origin until Destination. The location header itself consists of three rows:


      See an example with a simple case when the origin and destination are defined without an intermediate.


Pre-condition & rules:

  • Locations of the PaP section must be defined in the "LOCATIONS" sheet in 'B' or 'C' columns!
  • Adding a new location you must copy the location header (both rows)
  • Add as many locations as you need, moving in the right direction

   In the first row of the header is merged 13 cells horizontally together. The second row defines the followings values:

  • NAME: mandatory field, origin location where the PaP section starts, previously defined at the "LOCATIONS" sheet in the "LOCATION NAME IN TEMPLATE" column. Also, the origin and destination locations must be the same as in the "TIMETABLES" sheet, in 'E' (Origin), and an 'F' (Destination) column.
  • PATH NR:  optional identifier on path section level
  • PARAM: mandatory field, the parameter that has been defined in the "PARAMETER SET CODE" sheet in the 'B' column
  • NOTE: optional field, any note or comment that will be saved to the dossier at the common parameter section in the 'Comment' text area
  • ACTIVITY TYPE: optional field, enter the same activity type code which was previously defined at the "ACTIVITY TYPES LEGEND" sheet in the 'B' column.
  • SJT: optional field, Standard Journey Time, not relevant for CT import, valid formats are:
    • HH:mm
    • HHmm
    • HH mm
  • MNS: optional field, Max number of stops, not relevant for CT import
  • TST: optional field, Total Stopping Time in minutes, not relevant for CT import
  • ARR: optional field, arrival time, valid formats are:
    • HH:mm
    • HHmm
    • HH mm
  • ARR TZ: optional field, arrival timezone offset. If it is empty the default timezone offset will be used (UTC+1) as in the GUI. If the timezone offset is applied then PCS will propagate it automatically the same way as it works on the GUI.
  • DEP: optional field, departure time, valid formats are
    • HH:mm
    • HHmm
    • HH mm
  • DEP TZ: optional field, departure timezone offset, If it is empty the default timezone offset will be used (UTC+1) as in the GUI. If the timezone offset is applied then PCS will propagate it automatically the same way as it works on the GUI.
  • PROTECTED: optional field, mark it with a letter 'X'  if the location will be protected

Distances sheet

Last sheet of the excel import file. Also, works the same way as in the old import sheet. You can define the distance between  locations:

Column definitions:

  • LOCATION 1: mandatory field, the starting point
  • LOCATION 2: mandatory field, the ending point
  • DISTANCE (km): mandatory field, number format, represents the distance in KM between LOCATION 1 and LOCATION 2


  • The header should consist of three columns: “Location1”, “Location2” and “Distance (km)”
  • The location point names must be defined in the LOCATIONS sheet
  • The distance must be the number


PCS import front-end *** NOT UPDATED***

PCS Excel import is located under "Pre-constructed Products" as an "Excel importer". Drag and drop or browse for the file to start importing it.



When the file is uploaded, PCS checks for 3 types of errors and warnings:

  • Parse errors
  • Format errors
  • Data errors

When the uploaded file does not comply with the predefined rules it shows an error message. The type of error message appears in the above order. These errors must be fixed directly in the file and uploaded again.

Parse errors

The following parse error exists:

  • Invalid type of cell: the cell contains invalid data. E.g.:In the importer file the "Dossier Type" column has a predefined value: flex or fix, and an error is displayed if you specify something other than the predefined value.
  • Required cell: required field is empty
  • Invalid value size: the cell contains an invalid value size. E.g.: in the "Parameter set codes" tab, in the "Train weight/length ('C', 'D') and the "Weight/Lenght of set of carriages('E', 'F') columns have built-in rules. The entered value is higher or less than the required value.
  • Invalid format: a number format cell contains a text value


Format errors

The following format errors exist:

  • Activity type not defined: if an activity type is used in the excel importer that has not been defined in the "Activity type" sheet. 
  • Parameter set code not defined: if a parameter set code is used in the excel importer that has not been defined in the "Parameter set code" sheet. 
  • Operation point not defined: if an operation point is used in the timetable sheet and not defined at the "Location" sheet.
  • Agency cannot be resolved: the agency name is resolved on the name registered in PCS. ÖBB, Infrastruktur / Netz agency is registered as ÖBB-I and not OEBB-I.


Data errors

These warnings can be fixed by entering the correct value directly on the GUI.

The following data errors exist in the system:

  • Operation point cannot be resolved: the location reference code is invalid in BigData (CRD). 
    • There are two things you can do to solve these issues:
      • Check the reference code that has not been mistyped in the file
      • If the reference code of the location or/and name of the location is correct then it may happen it is missing from the Bigdata (CRD) database, you have to get in contact with the Bigdata (CRD) responsible person in your agency to register the location. 
  • Loco type number cannot be resolved: the loco type number is resolved on the loco type number field. If the required loco type number is missing then you have to get in contact with the IM to register the loco in the system. 
  • Activity type cannot be resolved: if the activity type is invalid check the "Activity type" sheet and correct the value
  • Train length < Length of set of carriages: the value must be greater than the value entered in the "Leng of set carriages" column
  • Train weight < Weight of set of carriages:  the value must be greater than the value entered in the "Weight of set carriages" column
  • Planned speed < Max. traction speed of the loco: first, you have to fix the warnings above and after the planned speed warning appears. The value must be less than the traction speed of the loco registered in the system


Fix errors/warnings

As soon as the error/warning appears when you upload the file, it also shows where these errors/warnings are located on the worksheet.

You have to fix these errors to upload the import file successfully. See this error message again and check for description.

The following columns appear after the error/warning message:

  • Sheet: the excel sheet name (tab)
  • Cell: shows the address to the cell where the error can be found
  • Type of error:  indicates the type of error
  • Description of the error message
  • Fix action: data errors can be fixed directly in the GUI by typing the correct value in. If there is no typing option then you have to fix the error in the sheet and upload the file again.


Import process

Once all errors and warnings are resolved (or ignored), PCS shows in the import wizard and describes what will happen if the import is run.

If the report complies with your objectives, then just click the “Import” button to start it.
The Import now runs in the background and has 3 different statuses. Each status displays a different message on the front-end:

  • “The import process is waiting to be executed…” – means that the import is registered by PCS and is waiting for its turn to be executed 
  • “The import process is running and is expected to finish at: <time>” 

  • “Import process successfully finished on: <date>” 

PCS will show the result of the import and will classify the actions with three types:

  • Inserted
  • Updated
  • Skipped

PCS will keep the last import report for the user’s agency. If another user, from the same agency, triggers a new import, the saved one will be overridden.

Multiple imports

Users can do multiple imports and PCS will try to match the existing PCS catalog dossiers with the values in the file. Afterward, a report will be shown.

When doing a Re-Import, PCS provides 5 options:

  • “Re-Import Parameter Set Codes” – Overrides the existing Parameter Set Code Templates in PCS, with the values from the Excel file.
  • “Re-Import Validation Rules” – Overrides the existing Validation Rules (checks) for the Train Parameters in PCS
  • “Re-Import Distances” – Overrides the exiting distances values in PCS
  • “Re-Import Activity Types for Path Sections” – Overrides the activity types for all path sections in the file
  • “Import Notes for Path Sections” – Overrides the notes for all path sections in the file

For all new values in the excel file (parameter set codes, distances, new path sections…), the options are ignored and the values are always imported in PCS. Thus, the options are only influencing the existing values.

There are 3 reasons why one dossier can be skipped: the dossier is published, closed, or when re-importing the user agency is NOT the leading one.

Important: Once the catalogs are imported in PCS, all of them will be promoted to the “Path Elaboration” phase and the traffic lights of the IMs will be set to Processing. Later, the dossiers must be: Accepted, so that they can be published.

Excel format and data errors

As we said before, the errors and warnings must be fixed (or warnings can be ignored). PCS will guide you with the fixing process by providing a: description of the error, in the excel sheet, and the cell where the problem is located.

These are all possible error and warning messages that PCS can show:

  • Something went wrong: if there are any changes in the import template file structure:
    • Missing sheets
    • Header changes (text or order)
    • Hidden columns
    • Extra text comment added somewhere below the tables
  • This field is required:
    • if the borders for the cells are missing
    • if a required cell is empty
  • The destination "A" does not match the locations "C":
    • In the "Timetables" sheet the destination is defined, but missing the rights in the locations section. E.g.: in the route of A-B-C 
    • only one path section is added as point "A". 
  • "The row at position 'X' in the "Y" sheet is empty
    • There are some blank values or formatting pasted over from previous excel files that have not been deleted
    • Resolution: delete everything (all) rows below the table
  • Duplicate locations in the following rows: 5,10
    • Generally, these errors are in the "Distances" sheet. Please check the "Sheet" to identify which sheet has the error
    • Resolution: delete the duplicate entries in the 5th OR 10th row. Note: do not delete both, only one entry!
  • Duplicate PaPs in the following rows: x,y
    • There are duplicate PaPs defined on the "Timetables" sheet
    • Resolution: Check the "Timetables" sheet for duplicate entries and delete the duplicate entry.  
  • The value cannot be parsed
    • Invalid value added to the cell. E.g: in Activity type field contains an invalid value (21) only number instead of "at21" 
  • Cannot browse for the file or my screen is stuck when the file drag and drop
    • The import file might be open
    • Resolution: Close file, delete the selected file from the import window, refresh the page and browse for the file, or drag and drop again
  • Import process failed
    • All sheets header should stay untouched according to the original template file shared previously. 
    • Check your import file in all sheets the cell borders applied in the "table" as it should
    • Remove old format import files e.g.: Max min barked weights percentage sign and do not use percentage format
    • Check the header at the "Parameter set code" sheet that does not uses an old template prototype where the MIN BRAKED WEIGHT PERCENT should be MIN BRAKED WEIGHT PERCENT.
    • In the "Parameter set code" sheet there is the duplicate parameter set code (02INFRA335). Combination: TTP, corridor, train type, process type, IM agency id, and parameter set code name should be unique

Use case

1.) If less number of PaPs imported as it has in the excel importer file or there are no dossier numbers on the GUI in the table:

Every PaP ID in the excel import should be unique by route (origin and destination), for example, PaP ID: RFC08PaP0322 with the route (Montzen Frontiere -> Y.Schijn) is entered twice. So here the second one will be skipped.

2.) Cannot set the light to green because I have a "Missing mandatory train parameters" error message: meaning missing mandatory common train parameters.

     The following fields are mandatory to fill on the "PARAMETER SET CODE" sheet:


Resolution: enter the missing information into the import file and rerun the import. If your PaP dossier is NOT in the "Published" state the system will trigger an update on the dossier by creating a new version number. Published PaPs will stay untouched and will be skipped.

3.) My PaP dossier is blank, missing parameters.

     Check the import file:

  •  The parameter is defined on the "Parameter set code" sheet
    • Yes, then you need to continue checking the file.
      • Go to the "Timetables" sheet
      • Search for the PaP ID
      • Check if the "Params" field is empty for the defined locations
    • No, define the parameter then go to the "Timetables" sheet and enter the new parameter for each defined location in the "Params" field.


End of the Pre-booking period, PCS returns all not requested capacity to the IMs so that they don’t block anymore the capacity in the annual planning.