As train operators need to be able to run their trains on the available rail infrastructure, Infrastructure Managers (IMs) provide timetables by means of which train operators' trains are scheduled. The procedure of requesting, offering and scheduling rail capacity is known as the ‘train path allocation process’.
However, rail infrastructure capacities are scarce in many parts of Europe. Advance planning of available capacities is needed to provide the best and most efficient capacities to operators.
Capacity management processes deal with the long- to short-term planning and allocation of rail infrastructure capacity. This includes the planning of capacities not available due to Temporary Capacity Restrictions (TCRs).
The main goal is to plan capacities efficiently, cross-border, from origin to destination, and provide the market with the maximum available capacity as well as market-oriented high-quality capacity products.
It is RNE’s role to continuously improve and further develop this process. Harmonised procedures and deadlines that are valid for all Infrastructure Managers (IMs) and Allocation Bodies (AB) within the RNE network benefit the entire rail industry.
IT systems support the processes to raise the quality of information for all stakeholders, accelerate process steps - including the possibility for automatisation - and provide easy access to all stakeholders. RNE’s approach in Digital Capacity Management (DCM) is to make national IT fit to participate in international capacity management processes, provide central IT to handle and combine national IT in all process steps and connect all IT via interfaces.