TTR CNA IM-RU Kick-off Meeting

Implementation of the new TTR process foresees the introduction of the so-called Capacity Needs Announcement (hereafter CNA) process. The process should give Applicants the possibility to provide preliminary information on what traffic they intend to run in approx. two years' time. The CNAs are to be used in the future by the IMs as one of several inputs to create reliable Capacity Models (pilot focus), Capacity Supply and they also serve as input for consultation of selected significant Temporary Capacity Restrictions.

This is a very new process for the sector, thus it has required appropriate tests. Forum Train Europe community ran from April to July 2022 the first CNA pilot phase, this RU-only phase focused on the creation and harmonisation of the first CNAs and provided important findings for data structure, process and practical implementation. The first phase is now followed by the IM-RU pilot phase, where IMs and RUs together aim to make more comprehensive and iterative tests, targeting timetable 2025. You can find the report, presentation and the documentation from the IM-RU phase kick-off below.

IM-RU Pilot Kick-off RNE-FTE Presentations

On 12 September 2022, the IM-RU Pilot phase kick-off meeting took place, organised by RailNetEurope with FTE support. The online meeting was joined by the representatives of the Infrastructure Managers and a high number of participants (34) from Railway Undertakings running in significant parts of Europe, they were accompanied by few RU associations. The audience appeared to be quite well introduced to the CNA, since following the live question, only 10% voted that CNA is a new topic for them, 46% already had some knowledge, and 44% were deeply knowledgeable.

Firstly, RailNetEurope (RNE) introduced participants to the TTR advance planning elements, such as Capacity Model and Capacity Supply, to ensure that all have the same TTR basis. RNE guided the participants over the timeline as well. FTE has complemented by an explanation of CNAs and their role for the advance planning. It is essential that stakeholders understand that CNA is not the same as the path request and could have more general forms, for instance, number of train volumes per week.

The RNE team showed where to find more information and provided an overview of the pilot geographical scope – lines where CNAs will be processed into the Capacity Model. Afterwards, IT representatives of RNE executed the live demonstration of the European Capacity Management Tool (ECMT), which is to be used to submit CNAs. Every applicant can request access to ECMT pilot system (link, login:iv password:iv). In addition also the excel files (one for import, one with instructions) were mentioned, which can be in addition to ECMT system used to prepare the CNAs, but at the end the data has to be imported to the ECMT.  

RUs and IMs experience

The next block was dedicated to the FTE CNA RU-only phase, where the findings of the pilot were presented. The experience was shared by two pilot participants, Christine Römermann from DB Cargo Germany and Boris Ottmar from ZSSK. In both cases was highlighted that higher level of digitalisation and automation is needed for wider implementation, for instance connection between ECMT and PCS and adjustment of IMs´ and RUs´ IT systems. RUs also noted that IMs cannot definitely fix the capacity 2 years ahead since market development has to be still reflected, otherwise it can lead to a rigid and not-competitive process. A change in the partner RU (and thus the train routing) or unexpected demands (e.g. due to a pandemic or Russian attack on Ukraine) have to be considered. FTE concluded by an overall summary from the pilot and realistic RU expectations for the second IM-RU phase, all is provided in the meeting presentation.

The last speaker was from Infrabel. On behalf of the TTR Amsterdam-Brussels pilot, Thomas Vanbeveren explained how the pilot team dealt with the input from the market, before the CNA process was drafted the first time. He highlighted that existing platforms should be used, and RUs and IMs should together discuss where and what kind of CNAs would provide valuable input.

Question & Answers

Another important part of the meeting was the discussion block, where several issues were raised.

Firstly, a few RUs underlined that the submission of CNAs shall go in hand with a valuable benefit for the submitter, otherwise, there is no motivation to make them. Currently, the added value is that the RU just do not fully rely on the IM to prepare a suitable fitting capacity, and is able to influence the Capacity Model (and on limited scope also capacity products) . But is that enough? The pilot should give some hints.

High concerns were expressed regarding the hybrid situation, this is due to the fact that some important IMs do not participate in the pilot (DB Netz, SNCF Réseau) or their scope is limited. RUs are still encouraged to submit CNAs from origin to destination, IMs will strive for  a harmonised output. The enlargement of the geographical scope is open, same as any IM is still able to join the pilot. SNCF Réseau representative clarified that the IM currently does not have the resources to fully join the CNA pilot but will try to individually process cross-border CNAs to France. The RNE pilot plan was generally accepted, with a comment that the workload at the turn of the year could be challenging.

One important question was raised to the pilot goals and monitoring. RNE clarified that the goal is to get real-world learnings to improve the processes and IT for the future. The pilot is to be monitored by several KPIs of which the proposal is in the annexe of the presentation. FTE added that in order to have valuable learnings, the participation must be high enough and it must be geographically balanced (all different regions represented).

Furthermore, it was highlighted that the service facilities and terminals and the process how capacity is planned and allocated by them is still not sufficiently integrated in TTR. This was elaborated in the use case in the Rotterdam port by DB Cargo and ProRail.

More information / next steps

The meeting was concluded by a short evaluation survey, the overall satisfaction with the meeting was 3.46 from 5. The participants appeared to be quite experienced in the CNA process, thus valued mostly the shared experience of RUs and IMs and the exchange.

You can find more written information about CNAs in the FTE CNA Guidelines (EN, FR, IT, DE, CS) and RNE Capacity Model Handbook (EN).

The presentation from the kick-off meeting is available for download below. RUs can also find there contacts to the IMs and the applicable geographical scope for timetable 2025.

For more information, the RUs and non-RU applicants are encouraged to get in touch with the participating IMs. Since this is an IM-RU pilot, both parties should talk to each other and mutually learn from the pilot. Assistance, mainly with the IT system, can also be seek from RNE (support.ecmtrneeu).

The deadline for the submission of CNAs for timetable 2025 is 12 December 2022.

Pilot tools

The staging enviroment of the software of RNE, European Capacity Management Tool (ECMT) is to be used for the pilot. Each RU or subject with interest to submit CNAs can create an account.To do so, click on the link:https://ecmt.staging.i0.hu/, for login and password insert without brackets: "iv". Afterwards you can request the account.

The stakeholders can also use the excel file, and import the CNAs into ECMT. Below you find excel import file, and another excel file which contains instructions, legend and samples.

MoTuWeThFrSaSu
482829301234
49567891011
5012131415161718
5119202122232425
522627282930311

Overview of Members