EU Rail Capacity Management Needs 6 Key Success Factors

The EU needs to move from annual, manual and national system to a flexible, digital and European one. There must be cooperation in a competitive market.

Therefore, there are Six Key Success Factors that are necessary:

1) Strong involvement of railway undertakings in capacity management processes under a new European Railway Undertakings’ Platform (ERUP).
• ERUP is to be comprised of railway undertakings and authorised applicants.
• After all, rail operators are the direct customers of infrastructure managers. 

2) Member States should be involved in and committed to support the new European rail capacity management framework.
• After all, they own and finance the rail infrastructure. 
• ALLRAIL advocates a more active role, similar to the TEN-T governance.

3) A strong and transparent European Network of Rail Infrastructure Managers (ENIM) with all levers to develop and deploy a European rail capacity management framework in a fair, transparent, and cost-efficient manner. 
• ALLRAIL advocates that ENIM closely works with ERUP and under the regulatory oversight of the European Network of Rail Regulatory Bodies (ENRRB).

4) A transparent and customer-oriented Network Coordinator.
• The Network Coordinator’s tools and procedures shall be subject to the approval by both the ENRRB and the EU Agency for Railways (ERA) to ensure a European approach that accounts for the needs of railway undertakings and addresses their concerns.

5) The socio-economic and environmental criteria must be clearly defined, with consistent rules everywhere, and they need to be legally binding. 
• These criteria shall be supervised by the ENRRB to ensure that railway undertakings can cross borders everywhere and at any time based on consistent, enforceable rules.

6) Rejecting the inclusion of the concept of ‘clock-face’ timetables. 
• Rigid, systematic ‘clock-face’ timetables limit flexibility, reduce occupancy, utilisation and profitability, as we are witnessing in Spain.
• By contrast: embracing technological advancements offers a more adaptable, passenger-focused approach that aligns with evolving market demands and fosters a competitive and responsive rail sector.

ALLRAIL President Dr Erich Forster says: “the Single European Railway Area needs capacity quickly if it wants to be competitive soon. Railway undertakings are ready to invest in new services if the new capacity management is fair, transparent and trustworthy. We have great hopes in this new initiative.”