Working timetable

Working timetable (WTT) – (Ger. Buchfahrplan ; Fr. Booklet March of Trains ; N. America Employee Timetable is a set of -) timetables , for the internal use of a railway ‘s operating staff, the show That All Planned trainmovements in a defined area. The trains included may be passenger trains , freight trains , empty stock movements, or even bus and / or ship connections or replacements.


The detail found in Working Timetables includes the timings at every major station, junction, or other significant location along the train’s journey, [1] which platforms are Used at certain stations, and line codes where there is a choice of running line.

(Or “reporting”) number, in Network Rail practice, consists of a four digit alpha-numeric code where the first number indicates the type of train (fast, stopping, Freightliner and so on) A person who is not a citizen of the United States of America, [2] what service the train next forms; What training (“consist”) the train has, its maximum speed , and any other information relating to the operation of the train. [3] A WTT for the Parisian Petite Belt belt railway gives a gradient profile and track diagram for the entire railway. [4]

In the USA, the New Haven Railroad Employee Timetable contained such information as: the maximum allowable speeds for different types of locomotives; Electrical operating instructions concerning the operation of the AC catenary system and pantographs ; Designation of which the various types of signalling were operational, eg manual block, automatic block and centralized traffic control . [5]

Railway companies incorporate their philosophy of service provision into their timetable in numerical chronological form. In the beginning of commercial railways, the timetable was the authority for a specified time, subject to any restrictions imposed by the rules, which were originally minimal. As such, instructional publications were often referred to as ‘appendices’ to the working timetable. As the rules and regulations gradually expanded following accidents,

Safe working

The working timetable is the foundation of railway safe operations and one of six main instructional publications which employees of Traffic departments in British style railways traditionally had at their disposal. The other publications were the Rule Book, General Appendix to the Working Timetable, Sectional or Local Appendix to the Working Timetable, Regulations for Train Signaling, circulars and weekly notices (names varied between companies). [6]

Unscheduled or ‘special’ train movements are worked as margins in the timetable permit. Such movements are authorized and regulated by staff Such As signalmen , master station and process controllers.


Most railway companies revisit their standard working timetable (SWTT) every few years, or as changes in their network require.

The daily working timetable (DWTT) consists of the standard working timetable (SWTT). SWTT, issued as required for additional (‘special’) trains or alterations to the working of trains already in the SWTT.


Sydney Trains

The SWTT is updated every 2 to 3 years for the 7 day period covering 6400 passenger trains and 1000 freight trains. The DWTT is constantly updated to include special events including footy finals & concerts (500+ requests); Special trains ie train testing, school charters, crew training and trains trains (700+ requests); And work trains ie inspections and maintenance (500+ requests). The approval time for the 1700+ requests a year ranges from 4 weeks to 26 weeks depending on the impact on customers. Typically the variance between the SWTT and DWTT are 40-60% and 15-20% for weekends and weekdays respectively. (2013 numbers)


WTT, known as the EBuLa or ” E lektronischer Bu chfahrplan” which is kept constantly updated by GPS and is displayed on the screen in the driver’s cab. [7] [8] This also incorporates speed restriction and non-standard signal stopping distance data from the ” La ngsamfahrstrecken” document, the near-equivalent of which in British terminology would be the Sectional Appendix.

Use of WTTs as historical documents

The railway historian Jack Simmons suggests that the WTTs are only a set of instructions issued to staff and indicate intended, not actual, train operations, and that this should be in mind when using them for historical research. [9] However, Simmons also notes that, read with care, “they show us how railways were made to work , in normal service, as no other documents can.” [10]


Current British railway WTTs, compiled by Network Rail, are available online. [11] The versions published by the various pre-grouping railways, the ” Big Four (British railway companies) ,” British Rail (ways) , Railtrack and Network Rail in book form and branded “Not for publication” can frequently be found at Rail exhibitions, second hand book shops, and auction websites. Some WTTs have been reprinted as commercial publications. [12]

Britain’s National Archives [13] [14] and National Railway Museum [15] holds copies of many printed WTTs issued by the railways of Great Britain and Ireland .


  1. Jump up^ John Glover,Principles of Railway Operation, Ian Allan, 2013, p.87.
  2. Jump up^ Glover, p.88.
  3. Jump up^ Victorian Railways (1900), Working time-table: Western and South Western Districts , Victorian Railways , retrieved 19 November 2012
  4. Jump up^ Paris Belt Railways,Booklet of the March of the Trains on the Railway of Small Belt, Service to 20 December 1915.
  5. Jump up^ SA McEvoy,The Classic Railroad Signal Tower., 2007, pp. 99-100. ISBN 978-1-59872-858-3.
  6. Jump up^ New South Wales. Dept. Of Railways (1900), Local appendix to the working time-table and instructions supplement to those contained in the book of rules and regulations and in the general appendix. Western Division , Government Printer , retrieved 19 November 2012
  7. Jump up^ A.Hegger et al.,Grundwissen Bahn, Verlag Europa-Lehrmittel, 2008, p. 58.
  8. Jump up^ E. Preuss,Beruf Lokführer. Transpress, 2011, pp. 101-7.
  9. Jump up^ Jack Simmons, “Timetables” in J. Simmons and G. Biddle (eds)The Oxford Companion to British Railway History. Oxford University Press, 1997.
  10. Jump up^ “Working Timetables” in J. Simmons,The Express Train and Other Railway Studies. David St John Thomas, 1994, p.209. ISBN 0-946537-97-6.
  11. Jump up^ Network Rail, Working Timetables\timetables\working%20timetable%20%28wtt%29&root=
  12. Jump up^ London and North-Western Railway; Jenkins, Peter R (2007), London & North Western Railway Working time tables: North Eastern District: October, 1920 , Dragonwheel Books, ISBN  978-1-870177-59-7
  13. Jump up^ National Archives: Railways
  14. Jump up^ C. Edwards,Railway Records – A Guide to Sources. Public Record Office, 2001.ISBN 1903365104.
  15. Jump up^ National Railway Museum – About Search Engine, our library and archive center.

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