Call for Offers: Feasibility Study on Applying Socio-Economic Criteria in Case of Capacity Shortages

The Redesign of the International Timetabling Process: ‘TTR for Smart Capacity Management’ programme, jointly initiated and led by RailNetEurope (RNE) and Forum Train Europe (FTE), is the programme to simplify, unify, and solidify improvements to the European rail timetabling system to significantly increase the competitiveness of railways. A systematic redesign of timetabling processes is needed as they differ considerably across European countries, which makes international cooperation difficult. Cross-border traffic is as important as ever for the rail sector.

One important area to be improved at European level are the allocation principles to be employed in case of capacity shortages. This topic deals with situations in which the diverse capacity needs (market as well as Infrastructure Managers’ own requirements) cannot be satisfied by the existing capacities. Capacity shortages can occur during the creation of the capacity model (about 2 years before a timetable change), during capacity planning and the preparation of the capacity supply (between 1.5 and 1 year before), during the processing of concrete path requests and during adjustments of already allocated paths in the current timetable due to construction works. In this context, the feasibility of introducing socio-economic criteria to achieve the best benefit for society will be examined.

Therefore, RNE is issuing this call for offers to conduct a feasibility study on applying socio-economic criteria in case of capacity shortages. Any entity or person is welcome to submit an offer.

All tender documents can be downloaded below:

If you are interested, please send your offer to by 14 April 2023, 23:59 h (CET).

The result of the tendering process is expected to be communicated end of April 2023.

Note: Please be informed that this RNE tender does not fall under Austrian public procurement law.

Update 2023/03/30: Raised Questions Answered

Question 1: The evaluation criteria states that there are mandatory criterions in the specification document. However, when reading the document with specifications on study assignment (, we have noticed that only the first group of tasks (“1. The contractor is asked to propose models (formulas)…”) are given with a “shall” directive while the other two groups below are not (“2. The contractor is asked to define… European scale” and “3. The contractor is asked the raised open questions:”). Does this mean that the latter two are not mandatory? Or are all tasks described under “Study assignment” in the specification document mandatory? Can you give some clarification on this matter?

Answer 1: We expect concrete explanations/statements/procedures to be provided for task 1). For tasks 2) and 3), we hope that the contractor will make suggestions as to how our considerations/questions could be clarified. The more comprehensible these explanations will be, the better this will be assessed in the evaluation of the offer (criterion “innovativeness in the proposals”).


Question 2: We have noticed that the invitation states that a budget of € 60,000 has been approved by the General Assembly. Is this to be interpreted as the upper limit, or can the offer go beyond this amount?

Answer 2: As indicated in the “A2 evaluation criteria paper”, a higher bid (> Euro 60,000) would not be evaluated negatively if an innovative approach was taken in the proposed method for conducting the study. The price deviation would therefore have to be justified. Therefore, the offer might go beyond this amount if you can come up with a comprehensible explanation.