I've seen a few references on this forum to 'ORCATS raids'. So what is an ORCATS raid?
I checked on Wikipedia which tells me that ORCATS is the railway wide computer system- but where does the raid come in?
Useful, but not entirely accurate. ORCATS is an allocation model (not a computer system) designed by British Rail long before the concept of Permitted Routes, and uses calculations of Generalised Journey Times (GJTs) for peak, off-peak and Season tickets to identify the likely use of different train services for a given journey. This does not mean that anyone that might carry the passenger gets an allocation. For example, a London Terminals - Birmingham Stations 'any permitted' ticket is valid from Paddington, but GWR don't get any money because (not unreasonably) ORCATS reckons you must either be a masochist or a gricer to go to Birmingham that way.
I did say outline
If you'd like to post something a bit more accurate comprehensive but still useful to the layman I'll happily change my bookmarked ORCATs explanation to your post
For example, a London Terminals - Birmingham Stations 'any permitted' ticket is valid from Paddington, but GWR don't get any money because (not unreasonably) ORCATS reckons you must either be a masochist or a gricer to go to Birmingham that way.
On ORCATs raid is when you do this deliberately. Most open access operations do it.
Yes, they would, although the flow record uses the actual station when a ticket is issued at a specific station within a station group (e.g. Euston or Marylebone). So a London Terminals - Birmingham Stations Anytime ticket bought at Euston will allocate to LM and VT but not CH; however if it was sold by TTL, all 3 would get a cut.I go that way sometimes! XC are in the mix there too.
Presumably LM and CH do get a measurable amount of the Any Permitted Birmingham-London revenue?
After each timetable change there is an agreed date for the ORCATS run which forms the timetable used for the allocation factors for the relevant periods. Where extensive engineering works will distort the results, either an additional run will be carried out post-the work or manual Agreed Allocations will be input for the affected flows.I often wonder if engineering works are taken into account - for example with GEML engineering work at present of a weekend EMT services are full and standing between Norwich and Ely for most of the day with Norwich to London Terminals any permitted tickets - it would seem a shame if they and GN don't get any extra revenue for this because for those of us involved it's a pain in the backside, especially when a huge number of cycles which would normally easily fit in a DVT turn up - on one recent journey I left over 10 behind at Norwich and Thetford combined, several of whom had also been refused from the previous train.