Virtual European Traffic Management Network (VETMN)
As a reaction to the EU Transport Strategy and European Commission document Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy from 2020, the RNE Traffic Management High-Level Group agreed to start an initiative supporting the European strategy goals. The European Commission plans to expand the rail market, addressing the needs of Railway Undertakings for access to high-quality capacity and maximising the use of rail infrastructure. A clear message also goes towards rail freight transport, which needs serious boosting through increased capacity, strengthened cross-border coordination and cooperation between rail Infrastructure Managers for better overall management of the rail network.
RNE’s activity to support meeting European goals leads to improved international cooperation on all levels of traffic management via enhanced cooperation of national traffic control centres, with a focus on international train runs. The main goal is to offer better international train management with higher capacity utilisation, meeting the needs of the customers established via the virtual traffic management network of national traffic control centres. The synergies from the close cooperation with RFCs, RUs, Terminals and other stakeholders should contribute to reaching the defined goals. The main pillars and instruments are presented in the following picture.
VETMN – Virtual European Traffic Management Network, ICM – International Contingency Management, NTCC – National Traffic Control Centre, RTCC – Regional Traffic Control Centre, OCC – Operational Control Centre, RST Railway station
The conceptual approach approved by the RNE GA in May 2021 defines four main subsequent projects for setting up a Virtual Traffic Control Centre Network around Europe. The first project is scheduled to start in 2021 and the last project to finish by end of 2025.
All these projects contribute to three modules of the implementation, covering various areas of TCC cooperation improvements. The schedule of filling the three modules is aligned with the above mentioned four projects. The gradual and modular approach allows to deploy the idea Europe-wide, reflecting the agility of IMs.
- Increased efficiency and better capacity utilisation of the railway network
- Higher focus on international traffic and customer needs
- Reliable international traffic management with higher punctuality and shorter delays
- More efficient border handling and reduction of unnecessary dwell times
- More efficient handling of disruptions with international impact with efficient handling of affected trains
- Improved cooperation with all stakeholders
Communication between Traffic Control Centres
RNE provides support to more than 200 different border stations at 43 different state borders. Officially, 21 different national languages are used in communication between RNE Infrastructure Managers (IMs). Therefore, communication problems between Traffic Control Centres vary significantly, depending on which IMs are involved. It was clear that even before long-term IT solutions could be available, short-term, pragmatic solutions for improving communication (especially at the operational level between Traffic Control Centres) were needed. Thus, a multilingual information exchange tool, called ‘TCCCom tool’, was developed and fully integrated into TIS.
This tool helps overcome the language barriers between Traffic Control Centres, thereby supporting and facilitating regular communication between TCCs. In addition to the TCCCom tool, also “Guidelines for communication between traffic control centres” were developed in order to set up a framework of standard procedures and tools supporting the daily traffic management.
RFC Traffic Management Information
Rail Freight Corridors (RFCs) and IMs are requested to provide the same information to all recipients; but sometimes they have to do it more than once and in different ways. Therefore RNE has started a project focussed on Traffic Management information. The project team, consisting of representatives of IMs and RFCs, has developed a ‘Common structure for providing Traffic Management information‘ in a harmonised way in different documents (e.g. Corridor Information Documents), collected the relevant ‘Traffic Management Information’ and drafted a proposal for its use and publication.
The Traffic Management Information (TMI) document provides a detailed overview of the Traffic Management information content and structure; its annexes provide specific Traffic Management information regarding the border sections relevant for RFCs.
Within the framework of activities providing support to RNE members with the implementation of EU Regulation 913/2010, RNE has collected much information regarding the priority rules applied in operation by its member Infrastructure Managers (IMs) and described them in a comprehensive document: ‘Overview of the Priority Rules in Operation’. This overview is regularly updated and can be found here.
Disclaimer: the information included in this page has been provided by the IMs concerned. RNE cannot be held responsible for any mistake it might contain.