New FBS-Features And Current Developements

FBS Yearly Update May 2023

Below you will find new features that we presented at the FBS user conferences in October 2022 in Innsbruck and in April 2023 in Stuttgart.


iPLAN, Customer's Timetable

New Layout

The introduction of a new layout for a customer's timetable has resulted in extensive changes that also apply to already existing customer's timetable formats. The previous Photosetting was renamed Photosetting D and a new Photosetting A was created based on the Austrian model.

When opening the customer's timetable, it is always displayed in the zoom level whole sheet.

Formatted text can be entered in the fields above and below the tables.

Mail Merge Of Customer's Timetables

Mail merging is now also available for customer's timetables.

Inclusion of connecting trains

Another major change concerns the inclusion of connecting trains in a customer's timetable. For this purpose, you have to select Write whole row in italics (typically for branch lines) when double-clicking a place of access in the window Edit timetable chart - choose places of access, which can be accessed via the button Stations when viewing a customer's timetable.

Note on synchronising connecting trains

When synchronising customer's timetables, connecting trains are not automatically synchronised. This can be done by right-clicking on a connection (highlighted in red) in the train table using the function Search and enter connections.

Extended possibilities of the edit mode

In the menu Edit train table of a customer's timetable, the General remarks under (each) chart and the General remarks in the header can now be edited. These subsections, as well as the entry Legend, can be expanded or collapsed.

The function Remove legend entries without reference deletes those legend entries to which there are no more references. This can occur when deleting trains or changing the days of operation of the customer's timetable. When reloading a customer's timetable, the legend is deleted completely and then recreated.

(Re-)naming object groups

In connection with the mail merging of customer's timetables (possibly across networks) based on "groups", the question arises how network objects (here: customer's timetables) can be grouped. For the sake of simplicity, a group is defined by a common character string in the object name. (Character strings in this sense are defined as a coherent group of two or more letters or digits that occur in at least three object names).

In order to add or delete such group identifiers to object names without having to edit each object individually, the menu item "Rename network object" is changed to "Rename network object(s)" and can also be called if more than one object is selected.

There are options to add, delete or rename parts of the object­name. Although it is currently only intended for customer's timetables, it can be used for all network objects for the sake of uniformity.

Connecting lines for customer's timetables

To add a connecting line to a customer's timetable, a new option "Configure the new line section as:" has been added to the window "New customer's timetable - Step 2a" (Select route section). Here, connecting lines are selected like branch lines, therefore all occurrences of "branch line" have been renamed to "line section" in this window.

Connecting lines and branch lines can also inlcude several lines (and thus contain line changes). During selection of the line section, the right-click menu items in the network map can be used to adjust the route, just as in the regular line selection.

In case of nested line sections the orientation must not change: Incoming line sections can only be connected to incoming line sections, while outgoing line sections can only connect to outgoing line sections. Connecting lines may only be attached to connecting lines, not branch lines.

In the window "Edit timetable chart - choose places of access", the list of all operating points is now displayed as a tree structure with colored branch lines (yellow) and connecting lines (red).

The default settings of places of access for new customer's timetables have been made more sensitive:

  • Only those places of access where at least one passenger train has a public stop will be used for passenger traffic.
  • Additional rows with arrival times are only generated for places of access where a train stops fore more than 2,0 min and also for a maximum of 1/3 of all places of access.
  • Boldface is now only used for places of access with staffed passenger transport or station class I, as well as for the first, last and all branch stations.
  • Parting lines are no longer set between all (Fpl) line changes, but only between arrival and departure rows and partial line changes in the sense of the customer's timetable.
  • The displayed distances of the places of access is preset in such a way that within regular lines and branch lines no negative values occur any more (smallest value = 0). Connecting lines are not factored in, as long as they are not - as per default - displayed with distances.

Based on point 1 a customer's timetable does not show any places of access as long as there are no trains in its graphic timetables.

A branch station is also only shown if it is declared as a place of access and passenger trains stop there. A junction as the start of a branch line is therefore still not displayed.

Thus, the branch line would then start abruptly with its first intermediate station, which is unusual, at least in Central Europe. The user is well advised to choose the last place of access on the regular line as branch station , i.e. to repeat the shared part of the regular line and the branch line:


Adding line sections subsequently

Line sections can be added subsequently via the menu item Add line section in the context menu of a table timetable in the object list of the network. This puts the user back into the loop Shall the customer's timetable include another line section?, like when creating the customer's timetable. After adding one or more line sections, the default points of access are added for all line sections that do not yet have stations in the table, and the window Edit timetable chart - choose places of access is displayed.

The user can now add or exclude places of access manually as usual. After closing this window, the user gets a hint that matching is now useful; trains are not automatically added or times changed. If a branch station of a new line section is included in the regular line but is not yet displayed with arrival and departure, this missing rowis also added.

In this way, the regular line can also be extended subsequently, since no branch line can be added at the first and last station of the regular line, the system switches to Extend regular line. However, for extended sections of the regular line, the standard places of  access cannot be added subsequently.

Option for long distance trains

To create a customer's timetable, especially for long-distance trains, you can use the menu item Delete rows without stops of the current trains in the Edit timetable chart - choose places of access window by clicking the cogwheel button/the right mouse button. The menu item is can naturally only available if there are already trains in the customer's timetable, i.e. not when creating a customer's timetable for the first time. It marks the rows that do not have a stop and then calls up the button Delete station.

Change of the customer's timetable's default title

The title that a customer's timetable gets by default is now formatted a bit more delicately and also includes branch lines (but not connecting lines). Since the title is strictly speaking dependent on the displayed places of access, it is only set after closing the window Edit timetable chart - choose places of access. Therefore, the option to enter the title in the window New customer's timetable (which is displayed before the places of access selection) is no longer available.

However, the title can now be subsequently reset to its default text under View --> Title & remarks --> Title.

Formatting instruction for "pearl string" titles

The formatting instructions for pearl string titles (available only in Photosetting AUT) work as follows:

  • Enter the individual stations separated by " - " (space+minus+space or space+en-dash+space). This will be automatically replaced by circles.
  • Enter branches with {/branch up} or {\branch down}.
  • Accordingly for incoming branches: {branch from above\} or {branch from below/}.

The following examples require the following inputs:



Revision of the standard legend entries

Revision of the networks default legend to match the legend entries of customer's timetables, which now have their own regulations concerning operating days. Changing a legend text or symbol of an entry in the default legend can thus now potentially (optionally) change all legend texts of customer's timetables with the same effective operating days regulation (same bit mask).

The symbols for hot type have been left out for simplicity.

Entries can be switched off in the tab sheet Symbols of the network to reserve the symbol if a regulation has become temporarily redundant but might be of user in a later year.

Since the permanently stored standard symbols (in reference to the former UIC411) are evidently controversial, they are now displayed in a separate tab sheet and can be switched off or overwritten there. Switching off a standard symbol inevitably leads to the program overwriting that symbol with the next free digit when this operating day regulation occurs the next time.

Overwriting of standard symbols is still done by defining a new symbol that corresponds exactly to the operating day regulation of the standard symbol. Such entries are displayed both in the tab sheet Symbols of the network and indented below the overwritten standard symbol.

Applying changed customer's timetable symbols

The functions Existing Customer's timetable --> check for accordance (found via right mouse click un the list of the network symbols) and the similar check when closing the Default legend entries window have also been revised. All existing customer's timetables are checked for legend texts, operating day rules or symbols which have been modified in their legend entries.

For customer's timetables with network-wide legend numbering, any legend symbols denoted directly at a trains arrivel/departure times are also checked. The check of existing customer's timetables is also done after copying the default legend from another network.
For clarification: The button Insert all from network... and the associated menu item Insert all entries from current network ensure that all operating day regulations of all direct connections that are not yet included appear in the default legend. Though neither all existing customer's timetables are evaluated, nor are all train parts enumerated. The function is thus theoretically suitable for creating a defaul legend in anticipation of customer's timetables..

Assignment of operating day symbols

When searching for the operating day symbol and legend text of an operating day regulation, the weekly holiday rules are generally also incorporated whether the corresponding holidays occur in the particular timetable year or not. For example, the legend entries for Sat[S] and Sat would be the same in timetable years in which no public holiday falls on Saturday. The question of which entry to use in such cases is then resolved by asking "what-if" (a holiday fell on Saturday). The evaluation is in a sense a theoretical one and thus generally valid. It is not intended that operation day markings of per se unchanged trains change from standard symbol to footnote or vice versa after continuing the timetable period.

New view options

Several new settings are available in the window Configure view settings of Customer's time­table:

On the tab sheet Layout & content, there are several options for train running rows. These can be displayed as usual or not. With the setting only if not blank, the train running rows are only displayed if there is something to be entered for at least one train. However, this applies to the entire table and not to each page individually.

If train running rows are displayed, you can specify the Number of rows for from and to separately.

On the tab sheet Title & remarks, the option Do not output elements from this area has been added, so that the header of a "course book"-page can be left out.

Copying vehicle properties

The vehicle properties of a customer's timetable can be copied from other existing customer's timetables in the third step of the window Adopt trains into customer's timetable via the arrow button at the bottom right of the vehicle properties list. An entry for the (hard-wired) standard settings is also offered there.

Manually split and merge routes

A function has been added to Split a train here (due to overtaking) in order to manually obtain an overtaking break. To do this, click on the corresponding cell in the customer's timetable and then use the right mouse button. A new column is created with the remaining path of the train supplemented by the arrow for the continuation in the new column and the "bend" in the previous column, which should lead readers in the direction of the continuing column.

Also, there is an opposite function, called Merge split train, where a cell must first be selected to invoke this function.

Additional options for train column headers

When editing a train column header, a new field, Train Name has been added. Its content will be displayed as vertical text in the train columns. The vertical text is written next to the times and thus increases the column width if the text cannot be placed between two arrival/departure times.

For the data fields Class and general hints, train runs from/to and train name, there is an option to adopt the changes for all equal occurrences.

Station Database Editor

Multiple station abbrevations

Up to now, there have always been difficulties in exchanging data between networks if the station abbreviations did not match, even though they are the same stations, just named differently in distinct systems.

This can be circumvented with the new version of the Station Database Editor.



First you have to define the primary register under File --> Properties on the tab sheet Register. To do this, you can access predefined standard registers or create a custom register.

Here you can also create, delete and reorder further secondary registers.

Create all the registers you need here.

In addition, you should set up the default language on the tab sheet File Information.


iPLAN, Descriptions In Graphic Timetables

Train labels and display settings revolutionized

First of all, the most important thing: Train labels can only be saved in graphic timetables which are permanently created, i.e. which are contained in the object list.

This means that it is now also possible for a train, that is only visible as a short line in one graphic timetable, to not be labeled at all while receiving the complete labeling in "its" graphic timetable, where other trains are not labeled.

In order to be able to distinguish between this, the data is fixed to the graphic timetable, so that a label in temporary graphic timetables is also only temporary. Consequently, the mouse mode Set / Move train label (F2) can be used in these graphic timetables, but the resulting label positions cannot be saved. This is to prevent you from laboriously positioning labels only to find out that this information cannot be saved.

The properties line color, thickness and type as well as the arrival/departure time information are not labels in that sense and can also be changed in the temporary graphic timetable as usual.

Placing and moving train labels

When a label is placed (Set / Move train label (F2)) and the train labels are not displayed, their display is activated. I.e. if you want to set a train label, the labels of the other trains will also be visible, if there are any.

If the train label is edited in the train data window of a route section and the option Copy to all route sections is selected, the labels will also be activated in the route sections that were not active before.

If a train label's position was not created explicitly via Set / Move train label, the default position has been changed. The program searches for the first gap between two vertical lines in the graphic timetable that is large enough to accommodate the label within the respective route section in the direction of travel. If there is no such gap, the first gap between two solid vertical lines is searched for - i.e. if necessary, the lines are covered with a line that is not solid. If there is also no such gap, the train label is placed at the beginning of the route section. Thus, the train label positions are generally dependent on the display settings and the  text width of the train label itself.

Further changes to the labels

The name of the mouse mode Move train label has been changed to Set / Move train label.

It is now also possible to click on the train label itself in addition to the train line in order to reposition said label. This means that train labels that are openly positioned in the graphic timetable without a train line can also be "captured" again.

For trains with more than one route section, the status line shows, in addition to the train number, the route section that is or would be moved.

It is still the case that the train label information is assigned to a route section of the corresponding train and technically reflects the data of this route section.

If you use the option Switch on/off train labels in a permanent graphic timetable, as of now on no labels will appear until they have been created.

If the operating days are restricted by the moon button, the train label's operating days are also reduced to these days to avoid further confusion. The button Ok for all in the Selection of layers and groupings as well as in the window Enter weekdays to show thus affects the display settings of the graphic timetable objects.

In "rotated" graphic timetables (route axis vertical) the standard train label positions are different - The trains are labeled depending on the direction of travel in front of, and sometimes behind the train line and not always in front of the train line. Therefore it is recommended to recalculate the train label positions after switching the alignment of a graphic timetable.

Some settings become global

The default of the train label contents of new trains has been moved from the graphic timetable to the network. However, you can still find the graphic timetable via Edit display settings --> et al. --> View settings for new trains. However, the settings made there now apply to all graphic timetables and their trains throughout the whole network.

The specifications for the display of operation days have now been moved to Network timetable data --> Days of operation and are therefore only available uniformly for the entire network.

The operator logo can now be found under Network administration --> References. Likewise, the distance and speed units can be found via Networ administration --> Other for network-wide default.

Adjustments to display settings

The display settings of the graphic timetable have also been adjusted in this context. Each graphic timetable as a network object (i.e. not temporary) now has its own display settings and is no longer dependent on the settings from the first contained line file of the graphic timetable. Unlike the other network objects, newly created graphic timetables do not inherit the settings of the last graphic timetable, but the settings of the first contained line file as the basis for output.

The display settings that depend on the network object are:

  • Sheet size, margins and page number
  • Orientation
  • Train lines, etc.
  • Time and length resolution
  • Current time (upper time of the sheet), and rounding rule
  • Current and visible layers
  • Timetable header contents
  • Headlines and headers and footers
  • Format of symbols for train messages
  • Operation day filtering (moon button)
  • Line type, font size and arrival/departure time display of operating points
  • Train labels

Customizable display of stations & locations

The defaults for the display settings of operations are now implemented in such a way that they can be defined individually for each network object. For example, in long graphic timetables, the times at junctions close to large nodes can be hidden, but displayed in shorter graphic timetables. According to your wishes. Any deviations from the defaults are highlighted in red.

The information on these settings in the infrastructure data of a line file is still required, since it represents the default for the graphic trimetables that are created on the basis of said files.

Likewise, a change in the display settings in the line files leads to a change in the associated infrastructure data and thus also to the appearance in already created graphic timetable objects.

iPLAN, Graphic Timetable

Blocking Frames

In the traffic input data of a line, the display data including layer for several blocking frames can be changed simultaneously. To clarify the assigned layer(s), another column has been added to the overview table. To edit the display data, use the control key to select several blocking frames in the list, right-click and select Edit labelling for selected blocking frames....

Copy timeshift

When Copying times with timeshift, sometimes fixed times were transferred from the source train to the target train. This was not intended and has now been corrected. In this context, the wish was also fulfilled that the selected stops of the source and target trains could differ. Now, the target train is assigned the source trains exact course of track with the desired time­shift and thus automatically takes over the selected stops of the source train.

UDF-Import simplified

Importing data for user-defined fields (UDF) has been simplified. Just as you could copy data directly from the table, you can now also paste data into the table using the right mouse button. The data must be separated via tab stop or comma (,). The header line - if present - must be identical to the existing one.

In the table with the train part information, only one UDF may be managed per column and one train part per row. It is best to export the existing table first to check what the table must look like for import.

Breakdown of a layer's elements

In the layer selection window, when the mouse pointer is positioned over the number of layer elements, the number of elements of each type (trains, connections, (temporary) blocking frames) is listed as a hint per layer. This makes it easier to delete all elements of one type.

Operational day dependent station tracks can be ordered implicitly

If you set station tracks in graphic timetables that are dependent on traffic days, this setting is adopted when it is transferred to the TPN and the tracks are ordered accordingly.

Adapt course of track to blocking frame

There was a wish to be able to define a concrete train numer index under Adapt trains line blockings. This allows primary paths, which were created because of a certain construction site, to be identified by a meaningful index (e.g. number of the construction site). For this purpose, the new field if necessary, assign the following train number index has been created. All trains touching the blocking frame are divided by operating days - into common operating days with the blocking frame and disjoint operating days to the blocking frame. This usually creates a copy of each affected train, which receives a new train number index under the old train number.

If the train is divided into sections, the program checks for each section whether the combination of train number + index is free. It is possible that the resulting trains (despite explicit default) have different train number indices after adjusting.

The train number index to be preset can be selected from 1 to 250.

iPLAN, Circulation Plan

Filtering by user defined fields

When creating a circulation plan (as well as when adjusting the filters afterwards) you can now select more than one user defined field-value pairing. These are evaluated implicitly or linked, i.e. a train part is included in the circulation plan if it has one of the selected user-defined fields - just as you have always been able to select multiple line names which are then  "or-linked" by default.

iPLAN, General / Infrastructure

iPLAN - Network objects: Header and footer

In the network overview, there is the option to Edit headers and footers of all selected network objects. The previous entries at the corresponding positions are removed and replaced by the new contents defined here.

Please note that graphic timetables must already have headers and footers in order to change them this way!

iPLAN - pdf output:
CMYK colours possible

If departments of your company want pdf files to be created with CMYK color specifications instead of RGB color coding, you can now Configure this in the PDF output. Normally this conversion of the colors takes place by the printer driver, so that color intensity and print density of the device can be taken into account. However, since it is now unclear on which device the printout is made, pdf files are usually created with RGB coding. If the conversion to CMYK is explicitly desired, only a general so-called ICC profile can be used. However, this can lead to color deviations in detail and is therefore not recommended by us.

The window Special characters has been revised

  • More characters than before can displayed up to 20 of the most recently used ones.
  • The now very many special characters have been divided into more groups and sorted thematically within each group. The groups have been prefixed with an exemplary character to increase their recognition value.
  • There is a preview for the current character with auxiliary lines (ascenders and descenders, character width). The preview shows the whole character, because not all characters fit into the table cells. The guides help to detect small differences in alignment between similar characters (e.g. directional arrows).

Far distance route as user defined field

Under Analysis --> Summary of User Defined Fields --> Trains, the far distance route (from/to) of a train can now be edited or deleted without having to open the entire train route. Editing is also possible for several selected entries simultaneously.

Traffic times in Arrival & Departure posters

FBS arrival & departure posters now also contain traffic times (if they differ from operational times).

Better display of graphic timetables by train route

Create new graphic timetable from train route... and Show graphic timetable of that train... can now also open graphic timetables for trains that do not start or end at a train order change place. In such a case, the graphic timetable is opened extended up to/from the next/previous train change place - up to where the corresponding occupation time step should also go.

Rounding rule, train summary

Under Analysis --> Train summary the rounding rule can be set, which is used to display arrival and departure times (cogwheel button at the bottom right). The setting is stored in the network file as of file version 2.1d (delivered with this update). It applies to all register pages with times, i.e. also to interval groups. The default is to show tenths of minutes (=no rounding), i.e. as before for train parts and direct connections and thus different from trains (where whole minutes have so far been displayed rounded by the Bankers rule).


Getting in line with the new BSV

Extension of the railML export to include the registers and traffic names of the new Bsv (V4.0f). For this purpose, the register names are converted to railML and the languages of the traffic names are output in xml:lang identifiers.

Advanced filter options

The window for filtering trains and train parts now also has an additional option to filter trains by train numbers or train parts by train part numbers. Both filters are rather intended for experts who know what they are doing and for small numbers of trains (few single trains, tests). It is possible to specify ranges of numbers separated by "-" or to enumerate single train numbers separated by "," (comma). If a train number is included of which there are multiple train runs, all occurrences are considered included. Alternatively, multiple ­train run indices can be specified directly after the respective train number, i.e. 4321H3 (not 4321-H3, so as not to use the hyphen ambiguously).

For train part selection there is a list in which appropriate selections can be made with the usual Ctrl and Shift key combinations. Further selections are then impossible.


Route shortening during synchronisation

During synchronisation, the FBS train can optionally be shortened to the route of the railML train.

Wayfinding wizard improved

Users can now manually assign the train route sections that are not automatically assigned. The wizard provides all plausible train routes between two operating points for selection.


Miscellaneous adjustments

Fplo number and Fplo version can each be transferred to separate user defined fields on the FBS train.

The lead DB Netz regional area of the Fplo is displayed in the Fplo table.