RailNetEurope (RNE) was created in January 2004 on the initiative of a number of European railway Infrastructure Managers and Allocation Bodies (IMs/ABs), who wished to establish a common, Europe-wide organisation to facilitate their international business.

RNE is committed to facilitating international traffic on the European rail infrastructure. It provides support to Railway Undertakings (RUs) in their international activities (both for freight and passengers) and strives to increase the efficiency of the IMs’ processes.
As a trans-European association, RNE plays a pivotal role in encouraging the industry to follow harmonised, transparent and non-discriminatory rules in the international railway business.

Together, the Members of RailNetEurope are making international rail transport conditions more uniform and introducing a corporate approach to promote the European railway business for the benefit of the entire rail industry across Europe.
A coordination platform for the Rail Freight Corridors (RFCs)

In November 2013 the first six Rail Freight Corridors (RFCs) became operational and a network of Corridor One-Stop Shops (C-OSSs) was established. In November 2015 three additional RFCs were officially launched. RNE has provided support to the IMs concerned from the beginning and is now the coordination platform of the RFCs as regards operational business. RNE’s tasks include ensuring that harmonised processes and tools are applied on various corridors to the benefit of Applicants, and of IMs and ABs that are part of several RFCs. As a consequence the RFCs have become Associate Members of RNE.

A non-profit association

RNE is officially registered as an ‘Association for Facilitating International Rail Traffic on the European Rail Infrastructure’ under Austrian law. The Association is mainly financed by membership fees, and its Joint Office (in charge of co-ordination) is based in Vienna.

RNE pursues a business-led vision for the rail infrastructure sector, one in which international rail travel (for passengers) and transport (for freight) will become simpler and border-free. The financial support of the European Union is playing an increasingly important role in this respect – for example subsidising activities connected to TSIs (Technical Specification for Interoperability) or the Rail Freight Regulation 913/2010 for a European Rail Network for Competitive Freight. Recently some of our Members have benefited from this financial support directly.

An umbrella organisation

RNE is not a transport or logistics company and does not conduct any operational activities itself – it represent its Members, and provides a platform for its Members and business partners. Hands-on tasks (such as allocating train paths or letting international trains run on the tracks) are taken care of by the Member IMs/ABs themselves.

In its day-to-day work, RNE’s task is to simplify, harmonise and optimise international rail processes such as Europe-wide timetabling, sales (including Network Statements), traffic management and after-sales services (e.g. reporting).

These tasks are carried out by four standing working groups and by ad-hoc project groups co-ordinated by the RNE Joint Office, which is based in Vienna, Austria.

RNE international working groups and boards are striving to make seamless cross-border rail services across Europe a reality – whether this is by creating common standards for data exchange, easing inter-personal communication between traffic control centres or agreeing timetabling procedures for new train path products.

RNE also provides support to its Members as regards compliance with the European legal framework. Until now, this has entailed developing harmonised international processes, templates, handbooks, guidelines and a glossary. Furthermore, RNE encourages its Members to be responsive to the needs of its international railway customers and to the priorities of European funding bodies.

Last but not least, dedicated IT tools are also being streamlined and harmonised wherever necessary, and RNE’s own IT systems are gradually being rolled out across Europe.

All in all, RNE’s mission is to help its Members meet the challenges of the modern rail era.
10 Year Anniversary
In December 2013 RailNetEurope celebrated its 10th anniversary. A booklet with highlights of 10 years of RNE has been published and is available for download here.