Publication of the Harmonised Commercial Conditions Guidelines

Following some years of intensive cooperation work, the RNE General Assembly approved the first ever harmonised Commercial Conditions Guidelines in its last meeting on the 5 December 2023. The Guidelines were created by IM experts in a dedicated RNE Task Force representing IMs involved in the early implementation of TTR (‘first wave implementers’) as well as other RNE Members. Railway Undertakings were also consulted in the creation process to consider the opinion of the sector in the development. The Guidelines will serve as support to all Infrastructure Managers to implement, or adapt, their national systems using a harmonised set of rules to reduce capacity waste and improve the efficiency of railway sector.

The Commercial Conditions Guidelines describe a set of incentives aiming to promote the efficient use of infrastructure capacity and steer the behaviour of Infrastructure Managers and Applicants in the capacity allocation process in a reciprocal way. The system provides incentives to avoid the booking of capacity that will not be used by Applicants and to increase the need of IMs to provide efficient and timely planning of infrastructure works. Core elements are:

  • Cases in which already allocated capacity changes (i.e. path cancellations, modifications/alterations and non-usage)
  • Thresholds to determine when the different measures shall be applied
  • A general scheme for the definition of the incentives at national level

Commercial Conditions are in the list of necessary preconditions needed to enable the full implementation of TTR. This is also reflected in the new Capacity Management Regulation published by the EC on the 11 July 2023 and it will be considered as a basis in the drafting of the future European Framework for Capacity Management. Through the publication of the Commercial Conditions Guidelines and the efforts of the IMs involved, a first important step has been taken to facilitate the harmonisation of these rules and procedures, which will be adopted by the single IMs and will boost the development of cross-border rail traffic.

As accompanying document, an implementation plan for Commercial Conditions is currently being created to outline the activities for the next years, which will also include data monitoring and stakeholder consultations. In this context, feedback on potential improvements were already provided by Railway Undertakings via Forum Train Europe (FTE), which will be considered in the gradual update of the document. RNE will continue to further develop the Guidelines, taking into account the input by all stakeholders, the future developments of the legal framework and implementation steps of the new Capacity Management Processes related to the TTR.