German-Polish border between Angermünde and Szczecin (Photo: Deutsche Bahn/Volker Emersleben)

EUROPE: A common vision for capacity management, process harmonisation and IT support to create a ‘European, digital, flexible and secure’ system enabling train operators to book capacity in line with their business models and customer needs has been set out by three industry associations.

Forum Train Europe, AllRail and the European Rail Freight Association said it is critical that there is an international approach, as ’although well intended, national initiatives may deviate from common processes at the expense of cross-border rail’.

‘It is clear that legislation will be required to deliver a European-wide process for capacity management’, said ERFA Secretary General Conor Feighan on October 21. ’This will require the creation of a real single European rail capacity market, without national specific standards. The objective is that capacity management should be managed in the same way throughout Europe.’

AllRail said ‘the goal of rail infrastructure capacity management is to provide the necessary quantity and quality capacity for all traffic needs at the time when it is required by the passengers. The current capacity models are not meeting these needs of the market and in many cases remain strongly national in focus.’