Timetabling

A key element for facilitating access to the European rail network is a harmonised timetabling process for international train path requests. It is RNE’s role to continuously improve and further develop this process. Harmonised procedures and deadlines that are valid for all Infrastructure Managers (IMs) and Allocation Bodies (AB) within the RNE network benefit the entire rail industry.
Process schedule
RNE and its Members provide path management processes both for the annual and the running timetables:

Timetabling Process
 
Placing international path requests or feasibility studies
The Path Coordination System (PCS) is a web application provided by RNE to IMs/ABs and Path Applicants that handles the communication and co-ordination processes for international path requests and path offers. This tool may also be used for placing feasibility studies.

As an alternative, a path request form (paper version) for international train path requests and studies – which is accepted by all RNE Members – may be used. The completed form should be sent to one of the members of the One-Stop-Shop network.
Process for placing path requests for the next annual timetable
Initial requests for international paths in the annual timetable are to be made by the 2nd Monday in April at the latest. These path requests will then be treated by the IMs according to Articles 43-47 of European Directive 2012/34.
Process for placing late path requests for the next annual timetable
Applicants may also request and obtain international paths for the next annual timetable after the 2nd Monday in April, and this until eight weeks or more (according to the calendar agreed each year) before the new timetable starts. ‘Late path requests’ will be handled in the order in which they were were made, but will have a lower priority than initial requests that were made on time.
Process for placing ad-hoc path requests during the running timetable
Applicants may also request and obtain international paths during the running timetable. IMs will respond to ad-hoc requests for individual train paths as quickly as possible, and in any event, within five working days.
Path feasibility studies
Feasibility studies make a significant contribution to the efficiency of the path management process. They allow applicants’ service plans to be checked for feasibility and, if necessary, to be taken through further iterations.
 
The feedback from a feasibility study does not constitute any binding commitment to the allocation of paths and does not exempt the applicant from applying for a path in the normal way.