Technical Document on International Leading Entities in Timetable and Capacity Redesign (TTR) Approved

At its meeting on 31 May 2022, RNE’s General Assembly, approved the ‘International Leading Entities in TTR / Capacity Management – Input for Impact Assessment’, a technical document drafted by a special task force of experts.

This exercise was triggered by the European political initiatives concerning both the ‘Revision of Rail Freight Corridor Regulation’ and the ‘Action plan to boost long distance and cross-border passenger rail’, to which RNE’s Members decided to proactively contribute by delivering professional expertise.

The result of the task force’s work is a comprehensive document, which provides the Consultants to the EU Commission for the mentioned impact assessment with a substantiated analysis of the potential impacts, from an operational point of view, of setting up an EU level entity supervising capacity and traffic management.

The analysis takes into consideration existing and anticipated entities for each activity and provides a comprehensive technical analysis of possible decision makers in the TTR process.

With this initiative, RNE and its Members contribute with their profound know-how to designing the ambitious future of railways in Europe.

More information on the Timetable Redesign for Smart Capacity Management (TTR) Programme is available on the TTR Website.

 

147 Million Euros for TTR Implementation

Significant funding from the CEF II Transport Call 2021 has been awarded to the TTR Project (Digital Capacity Management): a total of over 147 million Euros of investments is supported by the European Commission. This will boost the implementation of the first elements of the Digital Capacity Management as an essential part of TTR.  

 To secure this highly needed funding, RNE coordinated a joint proposal with several of its Members for the CEF II Transport Call 2021, which was submitted in January 2022 and has been positively evaluated. The proposal focusses mainly on developments necessary for the digitalisation of the new capacity management processes in TTR on the side of the Infrastructure Managers. Among them the following features can be highlighted: 

  • the implementation of an additional market-oriented application for Short-Term Path Requests at international level, reducing the lead-time from 2-3 weeks to 1-2 days 
  • the adjustment of IMs’ legacy systems to allow for cross-border data exchange and to facilitate integrated infrastructure capacity and traffic management
  • the rollout of the TCR Tool to coordinate Temporary Capacity Restrictions (TCR)
  • the TTR concept of advance planning, including Capacity Strategy, Capacity Model and Capacity Supply – coordinated across borders 

The following RNE Members directly benefit from having participated in this joint proposal: SNCF Réseau, Infrabel, DB Netz, Správa železnic, Rete Ferroviaria Italiana, and the RFC ‘North Sea – Mediterranean’, while SBB Infrastruktur has joined as associate partner. The developments are planned over the whole course of the Action from 1 January 2022 until 31 December 2024 and are supported with a funding rate of 50% of total investments. 

RNE is delighted about the possibilities to implement Digital Capacity Management at European level, as this is a giant leap towards the implementation of TTR. On behalf of its Members, RNE would like to thank the European Commission for this decisive support. 

For the next two rounds of CEF II funding, RNE intends to submit a joint proposal with its Members again and invites all interested Members to participate. 

For further information please contact
RNE CIO Harald Reisinger (harald.reisinger@rne.eu).

RNE Technical Meeting 2022 Recap

The RNE Technical Meeting took place in Budapest from 13 – 16 June 2022.

If there is one thing the Corona pandemic has taught us, it is that we need face to face meetings as they are essential for generating more ideas, building long-term business relationships and creating even deeper and stronger trust. After two years of working merely online, this past June our Members, including the Rail Infrastructure Managers, Corridor OSSs and Capacity Allocation Bodies had the opportunity to meet, to discuss and harmonise draft timetables in detail in the framework of the RNE Technical Meeting in Budapest.

It was our pleasure to have welcomed our Members as guests in Budapest. Once again, a big thank to all taking actively part. We are looking forward to the upcoming Technical Meeting in 2023.

Important Updates on the Key Performance Indicators of Rail Freight Corridors: What’s New

During RNE’s General Assembly, held the 31st of May 2022,  an important update to the RNE Guidelines on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) of Rail Freight Corridors (RFCs) was approved. With this, an essential enabler for the introduction of following new commonly applicable RFC KPIS was provided:

Under KPIs for Capacity Management:
  • Ratio of pre-booked capacity (PaPs)
Under KPIs for Operations:
  • Train kilometers of trains crossing a border along the RFC
  • Dwell times in border sections – planned dwell
  • Dwell times in border sections – real dwell
Under KPIs for Market Development:
  • Train kilometers of trains per border

While the figures on the ratio of pre-booked capacity can be calculated and published at very short notice, publication of the remaining new KPIs is expected to feature a stepwise process progressing hand in hand with the deliverables of RNE’s Data Quality Project. Figures on the dwell times in border sections and the volume of train kilometers are therefore expected to become available gradually on a border-by-border and corridor-by-corridor basis until a full compliance with the new KPIs is reached.

The latest set of available KPI figures can be found HERE.

Capacity Strategies for Timetable 2025 published

Today we are happy to announce that one of the first major milestones of TTR implementation has been achieved: the Capacity Strategies for timetable 2025 have been published on 30 June 2022!

This milestone marks a first finish line in the implementation of coordinated medium-term infrastructure planning at European level, laying the foundation for advance planning in TTR.

This achievement sets the stage for subsequent steps in TTR implementation as it is a precondition for the elaboration of Capacity Models, which are already being prepared for Timetable 2025.

Besides their national strategies, particular focus has been brought to a common Capacity Strategy document elaborated by Infrabel, ProRail, ACF, DB Netz AG, SBB Infrastruktur AG, BLS Netz AG, ÖBB Infrastruktur AG and RFI S.p.A. In this common document, the abovementioned Infrastructure Managers are emphasising the international character of TTR end products pushed beyond borders to the benefit of consistency, coherence, and customer-friendliness.

The links to all published Capacity Strategies are available HERE.

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