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ORCATS and the complex routing guide

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infobleep

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Give the routing guide is so complicated, how do they workout the ORCATS?

If their is some elongated route involving other TOCs, do they get a share of ORCATS?

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AlterEgo

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How long is a piece of string?

My knowledge of ORCATS is a little rusty but I did once have a comprehensive knowledge of its principles. Essentially, the "formula" consists on:

1) Frequency of service
2) Number of seats carried
3) Journey lengths between TOCs on the same route
4) Permitted routes available and the likelihood of use of alternatives to the direct route

I am fairly sure the weighting is given in the order described above, with frequency of service and seats carried being paramount (VTEC get the overwhelming share of KGX-YRK any permitted tickets, for example).

One thing ORCATS does not do is differentiate between service or rolling stock quality, so there's no thinking "VTWC is better than London Midland" - nope, it's about service frequency, journey time and seats carried.

If there is an elongated route involving other TOCs, yes, they will receive a share of ORCATS, even if it is sometimes well below 1%. However ORCATS is not "tied in" to the RG, and the process - as I understand it - is manual, with actual people having to interpret the RG and using it to inform the decision. Thus, sometimes, routes get missed, and it is possible to travel on a TOC which receives no revenue at all (not even a tiny fraction of a percent!).

The RG is a somewhat more modern version of the Railway Clearing House Maps from the turn of the last century. Yes, it informs passengers of the routes they are supposed to take, but that isn't why it was born - it's a tool to ensure that companies get remunerated properly for journeys undertaken.
 

hairyhandedfool

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AIUI, ORCATS divides money according to how likely the passenger is to use particular routes and services, taking into account things like direct services, frequency of service, and so on.
 

bb21

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AIUI it also does not get updated automatically with minor service pattern alterations. It would require TOCs to challenge the current allocation and will then be amended accordingly if merited.

For big timetable recasts, I believe there is an automated process for recalculating ORCATS, but I wouldn't bet against it not covering all affected flows.
 

AlterEgo

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AIUI it also does not get updated automatically with minor service pattern alterations. It would require TOCs to challenge the current allocation and will then be amended accordingly if merited.

For big timetable recasts, I believe there is an automated process for recalculating ORCATS, but I wouldn't bet against it not covering all affected flows.

This tallies with my recollection too. ISTR that challenges were fairly rare, or at least this was the impression given to me by a pricing manager.
 

infobleep

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Thanks for the interesting replies.

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