FTE positions on TTR

TTR is a joint programme of RUs and IMs, and both sides might have different interests and priorities. Therefore, the FTE bodies have agreed to the common positions, which you find summarised on this page.

FTE's general position on capacity management

On 09 June 2021, the FTE Plenary Assembly agreed to the key requirements for timetabling and capacity management in general and the TTR program in particular, asking all IMs to rapidly provide:

  • Stability and reliability of paths – with early and reliable planning of temporary capacity restrictions by IMs
  • Fulfilling passenger needs – with earlier final paths provided by IMs, bookings can open earlier to customers
  • Fulfilling freight customers' needs – allowing long and short lead times for path bookings depending on market needs
  • Cross border harmonisation – on process, rules, IT and common planning to make Europe connected

FTE members ask to have such improvements together as a package in order to develop the full rail market. Continuous learnings should lead to constant, fast improvements not only of concepts but also of implementation.

With the stability of paths/timetables one of the core concerns of FTE members, the Plenary Assembly also asked for a timely joint effort of IMs in improving TCR planning (temporary capacity restrictions) and common usage of existing tools. The joint TCR Working Group of FTE and ERFA is ready and standing to support IMs in this regard.

The full FTE PA statement can be downloaded here.

FTE's position on TCR (Temporary Capacity Restrictions) process

On 25 May 2022, the FTE published the position paper on how to optimize TCR processes to strengthen rail transport in Europe. Railway Undertakings rely on high quality rail paths to be competitive in the European transport sector. Temporary Capacity Restrictions are massively influencing rail transport day by day. On the one hand, construction work is urgently needed to make the rail network in Europe more attractive and, on the other hand, current operations must not suffer as a result. In this area of conflict, it is necessary to optimize existing processes for IMs to be able to offer the needed capacity reliably and make rail transport more competitive. The key goals of RUs for improved TCR handling:

  • TCRs shall be executed in a capacity-oriented manner  to improve the infrastructure (planning the “work” element) and allow commercially viable train services.
  • The impact on commercial capacity shall be minimized, so that markets can be served by trains (the “run” element)
  • The impact on customer commitments shall be minimized by early, stable and aligned information regarding TCRs from the IMs, taking into account traffic needs in common dialogue with RUs.

The full FTE. ERFA, Allrail statement can be downloaded here.

FTE's position on Digital Capacity Management

On 04 October 2021, several railway stakeholders including Rail Freight Forward, ERFA and FTE agreed on the "Join Vision for the Sector on Digital Capacity Management" with the following highlights:

  • To succeed, Railway Undertakings (RUs) require more capacity as well as easy access to long- and short-term high-quality train paths (similar to a "Google Maps" for rail)
  • Today, there is not enough capacity for all future trains, we therefore need both:
  1.  "More infrastructure": building new infrastructure (new lines, multiply tracks, tunnels, larger stations; long time for completion and large investments needed)
  2. "More trains on existing infrastructure": The programme "TTR for Smart Capacity Management" will optimise the way we use the current network through new working methods (Capacity Management Process) and innovative digital solutions (Digital Capacity Management). This will increase the infrastructure capacity by a significant extent within a short time frame and with a comparably small investment.
  • Railway Undertakings (RUs) and Rail Infrastructure Managers (IMs) have come to the common conclusion that Digital Capacity Management (DCM) allows IMs to transform and thus create, together with ERTMS, the needed capabilities. An integrated IT solution will connect the systems from IMs and RUs and facilitate the complete capacity management process, from advance planning to the train run. At the same time, IMs as well as passenger and freight RUs can optimise their resources by using digital modelling, automated path creation starting with short term requests, optimisation algorithms and allocation, to allow fast, good quality train paths "in one click".
  • The sector has come up with an incremental approach to achieve the overall goal of creating one single European digital railway infrastructure allowing customers to reap first benefits within a short timeframe (2-5 years).
  • The European programme "TTR for Smart Capacity Management" is up and running, but for its implementation funding and resources (national and international) are essential.
  • EU and national governments need to:
  1. finance DCM implementation with European and national funds. A total amount of 675 million EUR is estimated for IMs and RUs IT developments.
  2. adapt the regulatory framework at European and national levels to allow the fully harmonised implementation of TTR

 You can download the full vision here.

Position on Incentives for all actors in TTR ("Commercial Conditions")

As a guiding principle, the Commercial Conditions model should provide an incentive for all parties, RUs and IMs, to stick to the process and to commitments made, by:

  • European harmonised timeline (for domestic and international trains) that shall support the TTR Process and the business needs
  • Reciprocity, meaning RUs and IMs pay incentive fees when cancelling/modifying/altering at these common timelines. The value of the fee does not need to be identical.
  • Bearable fees, fees should avoid economic downturns. Respecting different starting levels, alignment of the fees might be done over several years.
  • Non-discrimination, meaning that the common timeline (and potentially the fee calculation method) shall not differ between freight, passenger or IM; as all use or block the same capacity.
  • Simple, fair and transparent; meaning the mechanism should be universal (national and international, no matter the segment or product). Further, changes due to one network should not lead to incentive fees on another network.

Railway undertakings in FTE believe that such Commercial Conditions need to be developed jointly by RUs and IMs in order to ensure all perspectives. Therefore the FTE Plenary Assembly on 23 November 2021 asked the Infrastructure Managers for:inclusion of RUs in TTR activities towards Commercial Conditions immediately,

  • organising the work program together with RUs/FTE on the basis of lessons learned from earlier activities,
  • having an early dialogue on the content in Q1/2022,
  • RU position to be included in the work plan (covering harmonisation and incentives for both sides).

The RU position has been created by FTE, together with ALLRAIL and ERFA and can be downloaded below.

Position on International Body for Compliance

To make the Single European Railway Area a success, enhanced cooperation between partners is needed. As such, TTR builds on the common improved processes to be commonly executed. To support international alignment, defend the RUs market needs and provide neutrality for conflicts, RUs in FTE elaborated the need for international decision making, jointly shared with ALLRAIL and ERFA and available for download below.

FTEs reply to DG Moves “Call for evidence” on improvements in capacity management policies

FTE response to the Call for Evidence of the European Commission stresses the need to improve capacity management policies both cross-border and national and to cover all use of capacity, meaning for freight, passenger as well as for temporary capacity restrictions (TCRs). Key areas of improvement include

  • Capacity Management for all users
  • Stability of committed paths is key to fulfilling the customer needs
  • Network instead of corridor view
  • Linking capacity management of paths with capacity in service facilities, terminals, sidings, nodes etc
  • Incentives for market orientation for all stakeholders
  • Collaborative decision making also cross border
  • Market oriented planning
  • Digitalisation to serve business
  • Transparency for continuous improvements

FTE welcomes the approach to examine improvements to the related legislation as outlined in the Call for Evidence.

FTEs response can be found here.