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ARTC Network map
The problem

Movement Planner didn’t fulfil all of the network’s business requirements

The movement planner platform is designed to aid in the planning of train movements, replacing the previous paper-based train graphs and processes. However, specific to ARTC, it was missing a number of features required to make it a comprehensive end-to-end product.

ARTC needed the ability to enter data into the application. Without this functionality, ARTC wasn't able to create/edit schedules or add network constraints to control throughput across the network. 

Not being able to view the Day of Operations meant that network controllers weren’t able to track schedules, understand the current state of consists (trains), or see if any changes had been made. This resulted in an inability to effectively schedule train crews and activities on time.

Added to the above constraints on the platform, it was too complex for ARTC customers to use and understand the information, resulting in consistent communication between the two parties. 

The solution

Develop integrated ancillary applications that are easy to use, provide visibility and give control to the network

Data entry application


Movement Planner Supporting Application

This application combines an interactive rail topology map with data entry facilitation. It allows 24/7 operation of the NSW rail network for all users. Network controllers can now create or edit cosists schedules or activities such as adding train stops, loading points, and refuelling. They can create rail events or route locks; these show trackwork or inoperative consists that limit the network throughput. 

One of the most important features is the ability to create and edit nominal consists (number of locomotives/wagons, maximum speeds, and schedule assignment). This is important because the consist length has huge implications on how fast it’s allowed to go and the amount of time it takes to pass through populated areas. 

And finally, SAPP users will be notified of important updates that have happened across the network that need immediate attention in order to adjust the schedules. 

MP Support
  • 80% utilisation throughout the network
  • Improved efficiency and accuracy of overall operations
  • Real-time event and schedule updates
  • 100% of manual scheduling processes automated
Network visibility application


Train Information Board

TIBS provides train journey and activity forecasts for ARTC customers and peer service providers to view real-time train data across the Hunter Valley Network. It has an interactive map overlay that enables users to view a consist’s position against its last known location, and allows them to set relevant activities for the consist. 

Users have access to a list view of all consists, and are able to filter the list according to status (arrived, delayed, or cancelled) or consist details (location, activity, or train type). For a more granular view, users can view an individual consist’s details, displaying information regarding activities and actual and estimated times of arrival. The system automatically refreshes every 10 minutes so that the information is updated and delivers the most recent changes.

Train schedules
  • Improved forecasting for arrival and departure times
  • Real-time consist data across the network
  • Operators can effectively schedule crews and activities on time
  • Display updates to train schedules
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Key insights

Only two applications were needed, not four

When ARTC approached Mudbath, they initially had a brief for four separate applications. However, through the intial discovery process, it was found that the four different products could be consolidated into two. This resulted in significant cost and time savings for the client, allowing them to get to market much faster. 

The discovery process included: 
Onsite ARTC user interviews 
Customer surveys 
Quantitative analysis 
Gap analysis and feature development 

Every step of the process, Mudbath worked with network controllers in situation, testing and validating every interface and requirement. 

Both the Mudbath and ARTC development teams formed a close relationship over the course of the engagement, and collaborated in the technology research of the current and future solution architecture and integrations.

The ARTC project became one of the first adopters of Mudbath’s Dual Track process, which is now at the core of Mudbath’s methodology. The project used an agile approach to incrementally move through the feature list. This culminated in a big-bang release strategy, which involves deploying every feature on the roadmap to market in one release.

Certified vs Non-certified

Network controllers require certification to operate within the network, meaning that SAPP (which allows for schedule changes and consist configuration) can only be operated by certified users.

However, the system needed to give access to non-certified workers so that they could view the network information. 

TIBS was built independantly to SAPP for this reason. It allows ARTC customers and other non-certified users on the network to gain access to the system and have visibility of what’s happening across the network, but without giving them the control to alter the schedules.

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