Members of Forum Train Europe have seen the urgent need to update the European capacity management in order to make railways more competitive and make the essential step towards the single European railway area.
FTE members co-created the TTR Program, have co-designed the TTR processes and continuously work on their further improvement and testing. Moreover, FTE supports the IMs in the development of IT systems and monitors the TTR implementation, which is under the responsibility of IMs. The regular work is conducted in the FTE TTR Groups (see their overview here). Below you can find some highlights of the recent, ongoing and planned activities.
Pilot on the Consultation Phase
TTR process envisages earlier ticket sales than today; for this reason also the train path allocation has to be done earlier. Both IMs and RUs have to work faster and more efficient. The annual timetable consultation phase is expected to be shortened from 1 month to 2 weeks. FTE PA agreed to launch the "Consultation phase Pilot" in 2022, participating RUs will try to submit their observations to the draft timetable within two weeks. The aim is to gather the experience with the shorter timeframe and detect the pressure points/conditions that have to be met to make it widely possible at the European level.
Pilot on Capacity Needs Announcements
Over 2021, the TTR-compliant process for CNAs was elaborated by the FTE CNA Working Group (WG). As a result, the respective FTE CNA Guidelines were drafted to support FTE RUs in understanding and implementing this new process. The guidelines are now publicly available and accessible also for non-FTE applicants here.
Following the decision of the FTE Plenary Assembly on 23 November 2021, in spring 2022 the FTE community conducted the first RU-only phase of the TTR CNA Pilot, the aim was to test the creation and harmonisation of the CNAs for timetable 2025. The interested RUs had the opportunity to prepare jointly together for the future of capacity management. The learnings from the pilot phase were gathered, and presented to joint IM-RU bodies, they will be used for further process fine-tuning, and they are already included into the ECMT (RNE´s software for CNAs) development roadmap.
The second phase of the TTR CNA Pilot, including both RUs and IMs has started on 12 September 2022 with a joint kick-off meeting. In the second phase, RUs are given opportunity to submit the CNAs for timetable 2025 to IMs on the selected lines. The IMs shall process them, include their input into the Capacity Models (and in part of Europe also Capacity Supply) and consult those CNAs that cannot be fully considered by them. You can find the presentation, excel sheets and instructions for ECMT on the kick-off meeting page.
The European Capacity Management Tool (ECMT) of RNE is going to be the European-wide software of IMs to handle aspects of advance capacity planning. ECMT is envisaged to cover the Capacity Model, the Capacity Supply and the Capacity Needs Announcement components of TTR.
In 2021, FTE and RNE established the ECMT Advisory Group and Change Control Board, where the ongoing development is discussed. As the first step, the FTE CNA WG has gathered the CNA related functional requirements for ECMT for development in 2022. Besides, RUs in the ECMT Advisory Group have the opportunity to assist IMs in the definition of needs for the ECMT RU accounts and supervise the development to ensure demanded user-friendliness of the tool.
The instability of TCRs, late TCR planning and limited cross-border synchronisation of TCRs remain one of the most critical issues in the capacity management for RUs. Based on Annex VII to Directive 2012/34/EU, the applicants have to be consulted on the Temporary Capacity Restriction (TCR) planning. The joint FTE-ERFA TCR WG was established to discuss the best experiences, define RUs' requirements, monitor the TCR planning of IMs and provide input for continuous improvement. In 2022, one of the focus points will be to test TCR consultation using the TTR Capacity Model variants.
European Capacity Allocation Principles
FTE members expressed the need to harmonise the fragmented national allocation principles and define guidelines for such principles in the new early planning phases that differ from today. The allocation principles are last resort rules applied in cases when the capacity needs exceed the available capacity in the defined period, and the situation cannot be solved by a dialogue of RUs and IMs demanding the capacity at that given timeframe.
A temporary task force has been set up to define a future harmonised European framework for allocation principles. The task force meets to define and align FTE RU expectations, which are then negotiated in the joint meetings with IMs. The next step is to contract a consultant/university to investigate a potential socio-economic model.