Planning within the TTR process is being done well in advance to facilitate efficient and quick allocation of rail infrastructure capacity. However, experience with the current process, and gained in the pilots conducted 2017-2021, shows that more steering is needed to prevent waste of rail capacity as well as unnecessary / redundant efforts, namely due to:
Constant changes made to planning parameters
Capacity blocked but not used by stakeholders
To encourage stakeholders to use the process and capacity products as efficiently as possible, certain commercial conditions must be applied to avoid misuse of capacity.
Although commercial conditions are already in use throughout Europe, they are not harmonised. Applicants requesting international train paths must therefore deal with widely varying ways of handling different steps and varying consequences for the different national sections of one and the same international train path. TTR aims to develop a harmonised set of commercial conditions to provide applicants with the same commercial planning parameters for international transport across Europe.
Capacity-friendly behaviour is of key importance for the implementation of the TTR process. A capacity gain through the new processes of TTR is only possible if the sector can steer this behaviour both on RU and IM side. This means that RUs order only the amount of capacity they really need, and IMs can reliably ensure that track works (Temporary Capacity Restrictions/TCRs) are coordinated in a way that a maximum of capacity is available.
More specifically, the TTR and commercial experts have identified the following process elements that require steering through commercial conditions:
Path cancellation by Applicant
Non-usage of a path by Applicant
Path cancellation by IM
Change of paths by Applicant (‘Path modification’)
Change of paths by IM (‘Path alteration’)
Although the TTR Commercial Conditions project does not intend to harmonise the monetary aspect of these processes, it aims to have the same set of rules applied by all IMs.
This vision faces certain challenges, as no commonly applicable European commercial conditions have ever been introduced. Hence, the various national commercial conditions will have to be adapted accordingly. In some cases, IMs are not entirely or not at all in charge of drafting these commercial conditions, which adds complexity.
To overcome these obstacles, the TTR Commercial Conditions project has conducted a market research survey among the members of RNE, FTE and ERFA. Based on the results, a first draft set of commercial conditions was provided.
The rail sector is aware of the challenges, which in case of RUs are market uncertainties and high competition pressure and for IMs a lack in planning stability for TCRs related to different causes (e.g. late allocation of financial support, longer procurement processes, environmental pre-checks, approval by authorities etc). RNE is therefore working together with all sector stakeholders, as well as the EU Commission, to meet these challenges and ensure a successful and transparent implementation of commercial conditions in Europe.
If you have further questions, please feel free to contact the chair of the TTR Commercial Conditions project, Mr Daniele Imbriani (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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