The legal body for the RFC Rhine-Alpine consists of a European Economic Interest Grouping (EEIG). This corridor company under European law was founded in 2008 and consists today of the IMs ProRail, Infrabel, DB Netz and RFI. The Swiss IMs SBB Infrastruktur, BLS Netz and Trasse CH are related to the EEIG as contractors. The organisation structure consists of an Executive Board (ExB) of the Ministries and a Management Board (MB). The ExB represents the joint interests of the Transport Ministers in dealings with the European Coordinator for ERTMS, the European Coordinator of CNC Rhine-Alpine and the European Commission. The MB is made up of high-ranking management representatives from ProRail, Infrabel, DB Netz, RFI, SBB Infrastruktur, BLS Netz and Trasse CH who are responsible for the implementation of the corridor within their national organisations. The MB has set up a Programme Management Office (PMO) as permanent working organisation of the IMs with eight main working groups (WG) in order to manage the delivery of tangible corridor results in an effective and systematic way. The PMO which is represented by its permanent staff and one representative of each IM (PIM=Programme Implementation Manager), monitors the goals and actions of the WGs based on an action plan and schedule. PIMs are delegates of the individual IM and responsible for the coordination and reporting of their national project implementation to the corridor organisation.
The WGs as well as the PMO meet regularly to discuss, follow up and coordinate work results. The Railway Undertakings Advisory Group (RAG) and the Terminal Advisory Group (TAG) are advisory groups to the MB. They serve as information platforms to involve railway undertakings (RUs) and terminals as well as stakeholders of the intermodal transport chain in order to take into account their opinion and requirements in the corridor development from a customer's point of view.
The Corridor One Stop Shop (C-OSS) – facilitates train path management for international rail freight. It presents one single point of contact allowing applicants to request and receive answers regarding infrastructure capacity for international freight trains.
The main eight Working Groups (WGs) made up of experts from each involved IM/allocation body of the RFC Rhine-Alpine are continuously working on fundamental topics of high significance to the corridor.
Each WG is managed by one member of the WG who reports to the MB and the Managing Director. The current WG structure exists since May 2016. It has been revised three times since the creation of the corridor organisation in order to adapt to changing conditions and requirements.
This WG consisting out of timetable experts is responsible for ensuring the capacity offer along the Corridor. For each individual timetable year, it prepares the concrete shape of the PaP catalogue and reserve capacity offer including definition of quantity and parameters of these corridor capacity products.
In addition, the WG elaborates all relevant product developments (e.g. Net-PaP definition). In this respect, customers’ needs detected in customer workshops and via the C-OSS contacts are taken into account as much as possible.
This WG advices the MB and the ExB about processes and conditions on the Corridor regarding capacity management by: - developing capacity products and product descriptions across the Corridors (ad-hoc process), in cooperation with other RFCs and RNE - preparing the content and the publication of the Corridor Information Document book 4 (Capacity Management), done in cooperation with the other RFCs - giving the MB input and advice for legal documentation regarding capacity management (Framework for Capacity Allocation, revision of Regulation 913/2010) and for RNE Guidelines.
This WG takes care of: - the regular coordination process between the IMs regarding the coordination of the Temporary Capacity Restrictions (TCRs), to streamline the TCRs on the Corridor lines and to minimise the impact of works; Scope of the activities is the period of the running timetable until the next two timetable periods - the information for applicants about TCRs on the lines of the Corridors by publishing and updating the list of TCRs on the RFCs website - the development of the process of reservation capacity on alternative lines in case of TCRs with major and medium impact on the principle lines of the Corridor - the development of the process of cooperation between IMs and applicants in coordination and publication methods of the TCRs The WG gives information to the MB and the RAG about expected bottlenecks due to TCRs.
The Train Performance Management WG analyses the punctuality of especially freight trains. Each year approximately 100.000 trains pass the border stations belonging to the corridor. The WG analyses the punctuality at destination, at origin and at the borders. The overall punctuality at destination is at the moment appr. 60%, the punctuality at origin appr. 70%.
The WG cooperates as much as possible with the RU’s because only together the punctuality can be approved. Out of the analysis made with the RNE tool TIS the WG makes proposals to the responsible departments within the IM’s or RU’s to take measures to improve the punctuality. Future objective is also to cooperate more with the terminals along the corridor, because they have an important role in the freight traffic chain.
WG CBI consists of specialists from the different IMs which are familiar with cross border agreements, operational rules and the situation at the border stations.
They support the different bilateral WGs which tackle operational topics at borders and the IMs concerning overall regulations like TSI operations and to harmonise rules and processes to improve seamless traffic through the whole corridor.
Main tasks for the group are:
- Analysis and adaptation of cross border agreements
- Analysis of actual situation at border stations and development of proposals for harmonisation / improvement
- Integration of requirements from TSI Operations into cross border agreements
- Impact of ETCS implementation on cross border operations
- Tackling of operational issues delegated by the PMO to the WGConcerning all these tasks coordination with other involved stakeholders like RNE WGs, bilateral WGs, TPM WG is essential and mainly ensured by participation of the WG-Leader or delegated members in those groups.
The ERTMS Expert Platform is focused on subjects like technical principles, cross-border operations, trackside deployment and onboard performance. Several ERTMS experts of the IMs and the ERTMS Users Group participate in the WG on a regular basis.
The ERTMS Expert platform supports the Management and the Executive Board of the RFC Rhine-Alpine with reports or analysis, addresses issues to dedicated bodies (ERA, ERTMS Users Group, others) and is responsible for ERTMS information in the Customer Information Platform (CIP). Objectives are e. g.:
- Monitoring of ERTMS deployment on RFC Rhine-Alpine lines;
- Information of stakeholders about the kind (level, version, build status, etc.) of ERTMS that is or will be deployed, also on standard online platform (CIP);
- Analysis of the ERTMS implementation on cross-border lines and the related behavior of the system passing from a country to another;
- Meeting customers, suppliers, experts of special disciplines, to mitigate or solve specific ERTMS related issues
To achieve the requested results the WG is working together with other WGs of the RFC.
Main task of this WG I&T is to provide the corridor organisation with the information on the infrastructure parameters and their development. This information can be found in the Customer Information Platform (CIP) for the present situation, where they are shown in the map as the line properties.
Also information about the infrastructure investments in the different countries is provided by the WG. This information can be found in the Implementation Plan in the chapter investments.
The information about the investments will be used by the WG to inform the MB and the ExB how capacity bottlenecks on the corridor will develop in time, as well as the development of the line parameters.
A third task of the WG is to give information to MB and ExB about the number of trains crossing the corridor borders.
According to the regulation the corridor is obliged to conduct a TMS and update it regularly. A first TMS was done in 2013 with a focus on short term and long term forecasts for freight transport on the Corridor R-A. The WG TMS has the task to update the study in the next years. The focus of the new TMS will not be on a typical Origin/Destination-analysis but an impact analysis quantifying the modal shift potential from road to rail, if specific measures are improved. Namely the following three topics will be analyzed regarding their potential for modal shift to rail:
- Needed train weight for 740 m long freight trains
- Reduction of stops
- Punctuality and estimated time of arrival
- The WG consists of representatives of each IM. It is planned to conduct the study by an external consultant with involvement of the WG TMS and the RU’s active on the corridor.