TT 2024 RNE Network Statement Common Structure and Implementation Guide Updates

At RNE’s General Assembly this May, the adjustments to the Network Statement Common Structure proposed by the NS & CID WG (Network Statement and Corridor Information Document Working Group) were approved.

During the Assembly, the incorporation of RFC capacity allocation was one of the main topics discussed. The final solution endorsed by the NS & CID WG was to enter a text into the NS Common Structure, which will provide the freedom for each IM to choose the most appropriate option according to the respective national legislation. The Network Statement 2024 was adapted to meet the ECJ ruling by including a new Chapter 4.10 – Capacity Allocation Principles for RFCs.

Further adjustments reflected changes resulting from the TTR Programme. These include the listing of TTR process components (chapter 4.9.2), a change to the Capacity Needs Announcements Process for TT 2026, the addition of new guidelines for allocation principles for resolving allocation conflicts (chapter 4.9.3.1), and a change regarding the implementation in TT 2025, stating it as partial (chapter 4.9.4).

Lastly, a modification to the standard text about the TIS application was agreed upon (chapter 6.4), where it was agreed to use the wording ‘Applicants and operators of service facilities may also be granted access to the TIS…’.

More information and downloadable documents are available HERE.

New Milestone Reached in RNE Data Quality Strategy Implementation

RNE operates a unique European Train Information System (TIS) where a significant proportion of European train timetables and running information is presented. This data is also stored for further reporting. To increase the quality of the information provided, an ongoing process of data quality improvement has been put in place. This process is based on the RNE data quality strategy for reporting, approved in 2020.

Following the strategical goals, in May 2022 a big step was made in furthering RNE’s role of reliable and respected provider of international reports and European train running data. RNE Members’ experts prepared the Handbook on the Management of Data Quality for Train Performance Analysis, which was subsequently approved by the General Assembly. Its full implementation has been scheduled for January 2023.

The new handbook supplements the already in force data quality key documents such as the RNE guidelines on Basic Requirements on TIS Data for Reporting Purposes and the TIS Declaration. This newly approved third document represents the methodical package of the RNE data quality strategy concept.

The first kick-off meeting of the Data Quality Expert Group is planned for 21 June 2022 and all preparation works to ensure smooth and full implementation are already ongoing.

A Big Step Forward For the Sector: Defining Conceptual Language Solutions

The sector goal regarding cross-border communication between operational personnel who do not speak the same language, is to overcome language barriers by providing appropriate linguistic tools to staff.

After successful development and tests of the first railway language tool prototype, RNE has produced a document describing in detail the possible language tool solutions for the sector. The document was prepared in a sector Language Programme working group with the active participation of IMs, RUs and technical experts.

The document contains detailed descriptions of recommendations and requirements for three main alternative language tool concepts together with a guide for testing and piloting.  This conceptual document, as the most anticipated output of the Language Programme, was approved by the RNE General Assembly on 31 May 2022. The initiative’s key value lies in the provision of a clear description of the sector’s language challenges, as well as suggestions for solutions. This paves the way for the development of language tools reflecting the prepared framework, ensuring that the sector’s criteria are met.

Rail Facilities Portal Growing at Top Speed!

Rail Facilities Portal User Interface

Major developments are taking place within the  European Rail Facilities Portal (RFP). Since RailNetEurope took over the portal in June 2020, the number of service facilities in the portal has grown to over 18.900.

By introducing the new interface with the German Infrastructure Manager DB Netz, we were able to include over 1.800 service Facilities at once. Such big steps are possible also with other Infrastructure Managers through a so-called APN interface.

Therefore, we are inviting other countries and Service Facilities to join in and take advantage of this opportunity for very easy access.

Rail Facilities Portal Features:

  • Reaching a very broad European audience
  • Easy upload of data
  • Easy access for users
  • A visual display of service facilities in Europe on a scalable and searchable map
  • Fulfilment of European Regulations regarding the obligation to publish data on service facilities
  • And last but not least: this all comes absolutely free of charge for interested service facilities and users, as this platform is funded by the European Union!

So why wait? – Join us in this excellent opportunity to bring your business to the next level.

More information on the dedicated website: https://rfp.rne.eu/

RNE Participates in Europe’s Rail Joint Undertaking System Pillar

RNE was recently invited to participate in Europe’s Rail ‘Joint Undertaking System Pillar Consortium’ as Member and their ‘System Pillar Steering Group’ as an Observer. Following the positive vote by our Members, we are happy to accept this invitation and pleased to start contributing in this arena.

The objective of Europe’s Rail Joint Undertaking (EU-Rail JU) is to deliver a ‘high capacity’ integrated European railway network by eliminating barriers to interoperability and providing solutions for full integration. This approach is very much aligned with RNE’s efforts in all its business areas.

EU-Rail JU is the largest European railway research and innovation programme to date. It represents a partnership between the European commission, the industry and the rail sector to accelerate research and development, and was set up in 2021 under the ‘Horizon Europe’ programme (2020-2027) as the successor of Shift2Rail.

Europe’s Rail Joint undertaking focusses on two pillars: a ‘System Pillar’ that will deliver the TO BE architecture of the rail systems and standards, and an ‘Innovation Pillar’ that stimulates the development of innovative solutions.

As stated above, RNE will contribute within the System Pillar. RNE’s involvement will guarantee that the RNE vision is aligned with EU ambitions, in particular making sure that the RNE projects/tools are in line with the EU vision. It will also enable us to support our Members in aligning their strategy with the EU Rail initiative.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact RNE:

Harald Reisinger, harald.reisinger@rne.eu

Patrick Konix, patrick.konix@rne.eu

Recording and Slides of Digital Train 1.0 Webinar Now Available

On 20 April, The European Commission and RNE jointly hosted a virtual closing event of the EU-funded project known as ‘Digital Train 1.0’. Speakers from the consortium presented the results of the action and what was achieved over the past two years. The aim of the project was to address and solve concrete operational interoperability obstacles included in the Technical Operational Issues Logbook.

Keir Fitch (Head of Unit, DG MOVE) and Harald Reisinger (Chief Information Officer, RNE) served as moderators of this webinar addressing questions that put the customer in the centre such as

  • What are the benefits of exchanging Train Composition Information and Train Running Information in the Train Information System (TIS)?
  • How can terminals (and other stakeholders) get access to train running information and ETAs?
  • How accurate and reliable are ETAs?

Answers to these and other questions to the audience of about 100 participants were provided by Nektarios Zacharias (Head of TIS, RNE), Jürgen Hiller (Technical Expert, DB Cargo), Aldo Croci (Director of Information Technology, Hupac Group), Ad Toet, (Project Manager, UIRR) and Peter Šišolák (Head of Traffic Management & Train Performance Management, RNE). Unfortunately, the results of the feasibility study on Railway Collaborative Decision Making, which was also part of this funding activity, could not be presented as the speaker was not available.

Polling questions answered by the participants of this event confirmed that the activities and the results are indeed welcomed by the market.

The meeting was concluded with an outlook on the ongoing funding action ‘Digital Train 2.0’, which will run until the end of 2022 and further develop the results of this first funding call.

If you missed the webinar or want to revisit some of the presentations, please find below the recording, presentation slides and polling results:

Recording

Presentation Combined Train Composition and Running Information in TIS

Presentation Initiating Data Sharing with Terminals

Presentation Processing and Improving ETA Information

Presentation Feasibility Study Railway Collaborative Decision Making

Polling Results

Register Now! Webinar on Digital Train Activities

The European Commission and RNE are pleased to invite you to a webinar about the digitalisation of train operations! This online seminar will take place on 20 April, 09:00-12:00, via MS Teams. Already, more than 140 registrations have been received, but you can still sign up:

SIGN UP HERE by 18 April 2022
AGENDA

The seminar, which intends to share the success of the EU-funded activity ‘Digital Train 1.0’, addresses the following core questions:

  • What are the benefits of exchanging Train Composition and Train Running information in TIS?
  • How can terminals (and other stakeholders) get access to train running information and ETAs?
  • How accurate and reliable are ETAs?
  • Is the aviation practice of Collaborative Decision Making (CDM) also applicable in rail freight operations?

We look forward to seeing you there!

TTR Day 2022 Bringing Stakeholders Together

The TTR Day 2022 held online on 2 March brought together stakeholders from the whole sector. Some 250 participants gathered online for an exchange on different aspects of the TTR Programme.

The scene was set by three keynote speeches from Stephan Pfuhl (President Forum Train Europe), Guus de Mol (Vice President for TTR, RailNetEurope) and Thorsten Dieter (Member Management Board, DB Cargo).

Recording of Keynote Speeches

Plenary Presentation

Subsequently, six breakout sessions formed the core of the event and allowed for the possibility to ask question to the experts coming from a variety of stakeholders (presentations can be downloaded by clicking on the title):

Advance Planning of Capacity in Scandinavia (Fabrizio Cerreto & Bernd Schittenhelm, Banedanmark)

Banedanmark reported on an international pilot on Advance Planning, which they conduct together with Trafikverket and Bane NOR. While the scope of Advance Planning in Scandinavia is on the main line for TT 2025, it will gradually expand to the whole network for TT 2028. The participants expressed curiosity among other topics on how freight Railway Undertakings would be informed about the Capacity Strategy and whether there were intentions to expand the consultation with Germany as neighbour south of the border Padborg. While not all participating Infrastructure Managers have equally established communication channels with stakeholders from the market, Railway Undertakings will be informed on the Capacity Strategy by all Infrastructure Managers, once it is published. Moreover, DB Netz will be contacted on how to further coordinate the Capacity Strategy (however, this will not take place for TT2025).

Cross-Border Train Paths within Minutes (Michael Beck, neXt Capacity)

In a discussion with the participants of this breakout sessions, the following points have been emphasized: While the national optimisations are algorithmic optimisation, the MVP focuses on the optimisation of the cross-border workflow – mathematical optimization might follow in later increments. Particularly interesting for the participants were the questions on whether of a digitally constructed path is higher compared to the path constructed by an expert: In a mathematical sense the algorithms produce optimal results. If a digitally constructed path leads to worse results, the data, processes, and constraints provided as input need to be evaluated and improved. Upon request from representatives of Regulatory Bodies, it was explained that both, the algorithms as well as individually allocated train paths can be scrutinised.

Customer Needs in TTR Early Planning – RU Perspective in Dialogue with IMs (Gabriel Seguette, SNCF Voyageurs)

This presentation given by a representative from a passenger Railway Undertaking aimed to trigger questions regarding how to set business steps in early planning phases – from capacity model to capacity supply. The participants discussed procedures between the priorities of early problem-solving and not being too rigid to allow for traffic needs to be fed into the planning. Many participants voiced that a challenge in early planning might be to recognise future traffic needs as early as possible. It will be crucial to find a balance between providing stable capacity for PSI traffics and at the same time leaving enough flexibility for long-distance traffic adapting to market requirements.

Digital Capacity Management – The TTR IT Landscape (Aleksandar Markelic & Mario Toma, RailNetEurope)

This breakout session was dedicated to how digitisation will support the capacity management processes in TTR. Different tools such as ECMT, PCS-CB, TCR Tool will interact with each other. Upon request from the audience it was explained, that in the first step the capacity of the main lines will be included, while capacity in terminals, ports and railway facilities might be included in a later stage. The results of polling questions showed that a majority of participants from Infrastructure Managers expect to use import templates to access the TCR Tool and ECMT for TT2025.

Lessons Learned from the TTR Pilot Amsterdam – Brussels (Thomas Vanbeveren, Infrabel & Floris Visser, ProRail)

Experts from Infrabel and ProRail shared some conclusions which could be derived from the TTR pilot on the stretch from Amsterdam to Brussels. They suggested the various elements of the TTR Process should not be evaluated in isolation but only together can unfold the expected potential. It was stressed how important is it to include all relevant stakeholders in this pilot, particularly as some elements enter new grounds with limited legal basis. Questions around a variety of topics were raised by the audience from Commercial Conditions to the differentiation from Ad-Hoc and Rolling Planning. Some participants expressed interest in conducting similar pilots.

Sector Involvement in TTR Implementation (Malin Jakobsson & Per-Åke Wärn, Trafikverket)

This breakout session was co-hosted by the Swedish Infrastructure Manager Trafikverket and Forum Train Europe. While Forum Train Europe presented the RU needs for involvement in TTR implementation, the new concept of RU Ambassadors and three elements they would like to pilot, Trafikverket presented its approach on how various stakeholders are being involved and consulted in Sweden. It was commonly recognised that change management is crucial for the successful implementation of TTR. Particularly, to include also stakeholders who are initially not in favour of TTR was seen as an interesting approach. The need to make information and documentation on TTR easily accessible was acknowledged.

Please find further information on the TTR Programme below

TTR Image Video

TTR Brochure

Index TTR Documentation

TTR Website

PCS trainings scheduled between 14-18 February 2022

The Rail Freight Corridors, in close cooperation with RNE (RailNetEurope), are pleased to announce a number of PCS trainings scheduled between 14-18 February 2022. To provide flexibility, several trainings are offered with different time slots to choose from. Session titles are the same where the sessions will be equal. 

RFC Group 1: jointly organised by RFC North Sea-Med, Atlantic, Mediterranean, and North Sea-Baltic

RFC Group 2: jointly organised by RFC Baltic-Adriatic, Orient/East-Med, North Sea-Baltic, Rhine-Danube, Alpine-Western Balkan, and Amber

RFC Group 3: jointly organised by RFC Rhine-Alpine, North Sea-Med, Scan-Med, and North Sea-Baltic

Our annual training focuses on the corridor-specific functions in PCS, and provides you with valuable, practical insights needed for requesting capacity on the Rail Freight Corridors for timetable 2023. Moreover, the training enhances your knowledge by introducing you to (new) features and functions in PCS in general; informing you about the news for TT2023 and giving you the chance to practice live with individual and corridor-specific exercises. If you would like to participate in one or several of the trainings, please pick the most suitable date for you and register under one (or more) of the following links:

PCS Trainings 2022

 Day 1 (14.2.2022)Day 2 (15.02.2022)Day 3 (16.02.2022)Day 4 (17.02.2022)Day 5 (18.02.2022)
09:00 - 11:00General BeginnerRFC Group 2RFC Group 3RFC Group 1RFC Group 2
11:00 - 13:00General BeginnerGeneral Advanced
14:00 - 16:00General AdvancedRFC Group 1RFC Group 2RFC Group 3