One central objective of the RNE Legal Matters Working Group (‘LM WG’) is to improve business relations between Infrastructure Managers and Railway Undertakings. To this end, the LM WG has launched a project on the harmonisation of the contractual framework for international rail transport.

The aim of this project is to develop a common approach for the design of contractual relations with customers, which today are characterised by a large variety of different practices:

In this context, a task force of members of the LM WG is currently looking at existing contracts of use of the infrastructure, general terms and conditions and relevant elements of Network Statements with the objective of defining, in a first step, common structures for these documents (taking into account the already existing Network Statement Common Structure) and in a second step assessing the need for common text (see ‘Vision for Harmonisation of Contractual Framework’, as approved by the RNE General Assembly in December 2019.)

In this endeavor, RNE is in close exchange with the International Rail Transport Committee (CIT), which has recently drafted a proposal for a European Standard Contract of Use of the Infrastructure (E-SCU-I).

The LM WG is also in close contact with RFC ScanMed, which is pursuing a pilot project with the aim of testing a ‘single contract of use’ on its Corridor.

The current RNE project follows up on previous initiatives in this domain, such as the work on a set of European General Terms and Conditions for the use of infrastructure (E-GTC-I) negotiated between RNE and CIT and first attempts of RNE to design a standard contract of use of the railway infrastructure, which date back to 2004.