RNE Anniversary Interview with Oliver Sellnick

Oliver Sellnick has been involved in the work of RNE since 2013 and joined the RNE Managing Board in May 2020.
Most of his career has been devoted to management tasks in an international context. Currently, he is VP Europe for DB InfraGO, the national German track and station managers.

RNE: Oliver, which business area are you responsible for?

Oliver Sellnick: As a Vice President, I share responsibility with the other members of the Management Board for all activities of RNE.
Beyond that common responsibility, I have a particular focus at RNE’s activities to support the Rail Freight Corridors.

RNE: How do you see the development of RNE?

Oliver Sellnick: Positive and crucial for our sector.

Travel and transportation has been becoming more and more European and so has the business of Railway Undertakings, Intermodal Operators, Freight Forwarders and Shippers. Railway Infrastructure Managers are national by nature.

RNE is THE platform for us Infrastructure Managers to define common processes for capacity and traffic management, thereby enabling us to support international travel and transportation with seemless processes.

RNE: If you could make a wish for RNE’s future – what would it be?

Oliver Sellnick: If I had a wish for RNE’s future: RNE will be selected as the Network Coordinator for Capacity, Traffic, and Performance Management, supporting Infrastructure Managers and Railway Undertakings in building the Single European Railway Area based on effective Frameworks complementing the “EU Capacity Regulation”.

RNE will be able to manage the required growth of its own organization without compromising quality, thanks to talented staff recruited and an ever-closer involvement of its members.

As a result, RNE will enable Infrastructure Managers to offer:

  • more predictable and stable capacity (primarily) for passenger Railway Undertakings
  • more flexible capacity (primarily) for Freight Railway Undertakings
  • fully integrated capacity for international customers
  • international ad hoc capacity with a lead time of only a few minutes
  • a new level of transparency in capacity planning
  • better rerouting capacity for customers during Temporary Capacity Restrictions (TCRs) through effective and timely coordination via the TCR tool
  • smooth cross-border operations following the RNE European Traffic Management Network (ETMN) approach
  • largely uninterrupted traffic during international disruptions, thanks to an effective international incident management (ICM)
  • full transparency on Infrastructure Managers performance based on meaningful KPIs fed with high quality data

To tie this back to my wish for RNE’s future: these improvements will lead to increased customer satisfaction with timetables and dispatching for international traffic, growing year-on-year. This will contribute to market share gains of rail in Europe and help achieve the goals of the Green Deal.

RNE: How do you see the future role of the RFCs?

Oliver Sellnick: The Rail Freight Corridors (RFCs) have played a decisive role as enablers for international cooperation among national Infrastructure Managers along the 11 main axis of rail freight traffic in Europe.

Since 2013, the RFCs have been providing Pre-Arranged Pathes (PaPs), the first truly international capacity product for freight railway undertakings, via the Corridor One-Stop-Shops.

RNE has been providing support to RFCs in many ways including PaP allocation via the Path Coordination System (PCS), development and calculation of KPIs for Performance Management, the Customer Information Platform (CIP) which makes the European network formed by the RFCs visible and tangible for customers, the organisation of exhibition stands at important fares and congresses, as well as the preparation of Transport Market Studies.

With the implementation of the Regulation by 2030, the PaP product and capacity management process of RFCs will be replaced by an integrated capacity management approach for freight and passenger traffic on the whole European network. This will be based on RNE Timetable Redesign (TTR), allocated by national Infrastructure Managers and orchestrated by RNE as the Network Coordinator.

The Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) Revision foresees an integration of the RFCs and the TEN-T Core Network Corridors (CNCs) into the new European Transport Corridors (ETCs) until the end of 2025. This re-organisation of European corridor concepts will open up new fields of activities for the experienced teams of the RFCs, including among others:

  • Supporting Infrastructure Managers and Railway Undertakings in achieving the punctuality goals of the TEN-T Regulation for international freight trains
  • Measuring dwelling time and optimising operations of freight trains at borders
  • Expanding the cooperation of Infrastructures Managers for the benefit of international passenger traffic
  • Leveraging the political cloud of the EU Coordinators for overcoming national barriers to international traffic
  • Cooperating with the Network Coordinator, i.e.  RNE to support implementation of the Frameworks along the European Transport Corridors
  • Optimising international infrastructure development (and eliminating the existing duplication of work between RFCs and CNCs)
  • Supporting the operational launch of multinational infrastructure projects (e.g. Fehmarn Belt)

RFCs can count on the support of RNE also in their new role as ETCs.