FTE positions on TTR

Reason why

1.   Law revision: The European Commission (EC) states that one of the main drivers of today’s “insufficient competitiveness of rail transport (…)” and “limited growth potential of rail services (...)” is “ineffective management of capacity on the existing network (…)” (Quotes from EC’s call for evidence, 7.3.22). With the methodology of an Impact Assessment the EC started this year the process of the revision of the Capacity Management Regulation.

2.   With different initiatives by Infrastructure Managers (IM), Railway Undertakings (RU) currently see the risk of an unharmonized interpretation of the future capacity management process by IMs, which will lead to severe business problems, such as no capacity in line with market-needs, increased handling costs for RUs in cross-border traffic, high costs due to unfitting IT provided by IMs etc.

Goals

The main aim of the position papers is to give guidance and input to the impact assessment from a market perspective. Therefore, the primary target audience of the papers are the Impact Assessors and the DG Move. The papers shall also address IMs and RNE to promote a harmonized and market oriented TTR implementation.

Why Position Papers by FTE?

FTE unites business experts from 86 Railway Undertakings (RUs) from Freight and Passenger traffic dealing with capacity management. Its main goal is to improve the usability of infrastructure capacity through the whole planning and allocation process.

How have the papers been established?

The contents were developed with experts from numerous RUs with the perspective of improvements for the entire sector. A pan-European perspective was taken and compromises between freight and passenger traffic had to be found. The papers were adopted in FTE working groups. As they reflect the market/RU-view, addressing issues on the IM side, an endorsement of CER is not possible. FTE made in collaboration with CER sure that the papers do not contradict any existing CER-paper.

On what evidence are the positions based?

The background of the positions is based on evidence provided by most FTE members in freight and passenger traffic, covering large parts of Europe. This includes experience with existing capacity management as well as recent or new national initiatives by IMs.

Overview of the approved and shared Position Papers

Topic (date)

Summary content

Plenary Assembly (PA) statement on Capacity Management (6/2021)

 

 

It is a general call to IMs and RNE to increase the efforts in the implementation of the market-oriented capacity management process which is planned with TTR (timetable and capacity redesign):

Earlier and reliable TCR-planning (Temporary Capacity restrictions)

Earlier and stable path offers for Passenger customers

Capacity for short-term requests for Freight customers

Harmonized and efficient processes and their execution between IMs

Avoiding “hybrid” situation when implementing the new process

Constant learning/improvements

Download Position on Capacity Management

Incentives for all actors; “Commercial conditions” (3/2022)

Aligned with ERFA and Allrail

Commercial conditions regulate the financial incentives in case of cancellation or alteration of an ordered/confirmed train path.

This paper is a call for market-oriented Commercial conditions, meaning:

Reciprocity (incentives also for IMs for reliable timetables)

Bearable fees

Simple, fair and transparent mechanism

Harmonised timeline and mechanism

Download Position on Commercial Conditions

Common Ground on Commercial Conditions, 6/2022; Aligned with RNE

Subsequently to the RU postion paper, RNE and FTE agreed on a common basic understanding. This shall serve as the foundation for establishing Commercial Conditions and has been agreed by the RNE General Assembly May 2022 and the FTE Plenary Assembly June 2022.

Download FTE-RNE Common Understanding Commercial Conditions

International Body for compliance (3/2022)

Aligned with ERFA and Allrail

This paper is a call for improved international alignment by IMs as already legally required and an independent international escalation mechanism to support RUs to enforce the alignment.  National escalation is established via national Regulatory Bodies, whereas international escalation is left to RUs, with no independent actor supporting. In conflicts concerning processes, EU law or missing alignment of cross-border capacity, every stakeholder shall be able to turn to an international escalation level.

Download Position on International Body for Compliance

Response to “Call for evidence” (4/2022)

 

The official response of FTE to the EC welcomes the approach with potential adaption of the capacity management regulation. Furthermore, FTE collected and orchestrated input to show evidence for a law revision.

Download response to Call for Evidence

Temporary Capacity Restrictions (05/2022)

Aligned with ERFA and Allrail

This is a call to improve the inclusion of RUs in the planning of TCRs.

Currently TCRs are optimized in relation to IM/ Ministry Budgets instead of transport streams or train runs. RUs have several requirements to IMs to ensure an early and stable TCR-planning, including the “RUN” aspect, meaning the finding of solutions for the affected trains.

Download Position on TCRs

Providing the Capacity the market needs

Aligned with ERFA and Allrail

This paper is a call to IMs to improve and align processes to offer market-oriented capacity to the customers at the time it is needed. It is also a call not to maximise the usage of capacity at the expense of market needs.

Some traffic needs early stable timetables, some need to have flexibility until close to the day of operation. Path ordering timelines must be according to this customer needs. IMs shall involve RUs in a constant, iterative market dialogue to create suitable solutions.

 

Why: RUs lose market and money if not suitable capacity is made available – currently it seems that some IMs interpret the new capacity process TTR not in a market-oriented way.

Download Position on Market Oriented Capacity Management

Creating a single European rail capacity market

Aligned with ERFA and Allrail

This paper is a call to overcome national particularities and different standards to allow seamless and market-oriented domestic and cross-border traffic.

RUs ask IMs and policy makers for the implementation of a real single European rail capacity market, without specific national standards. IMs need to act “as if they were one” towards the RUs.

 

Why: national particularities make the planning and operation of trains more difficult and costly and hinder the quality of cross-border train services, e.g. with longer transport times and lower punctuality.

Download Position on Process Harmonisation

Efficient digitalisation to support European rail capacity management

Aligned with ERFA and Allrail

This paper is a call to IMs to have an efficient IT landscape, aligned across Europe, making no difference between national and international traffic, covering all capacities and all process steps using existing (TAF and TAP TSI) standards. It is also a call to have market-oriented response times for path requests.

 

Why: As long as national specifics exist, RUs need to invest in IT for every network/IM they operate on.

Download Position on Efficient IT Support