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Joint vision on Digital Capacity Management agreed across Rail sector

Joint vision on Digital Capacity Management agreed across Rail sector
photo: Lineas/Lineas
19 / 10 / 2021

European major rail associations decided on a common initiative, Joint Vision for the Sector on Digital Capacity Management. Issuing associations, RailNetEurope, Forum Train Europe, the Rail Freight Forward initiative, the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies, European Rail Infrastructure Managers, and the European Rail Freight Association have published documents with a common stance on the future of Digital Capacity Management (DCM).

In order to reach the European Green Deal target, enormous investments are needed to create more infrastructure and produce more trains. DCM will strongly influence future situations. It is expected that the new system will increase the capacity on existing lines and contribute to creating more openings for both passenger and freight traffic. European program “TimeTable Redesign (TTR) for Smart Capacity Management “puts DCM as its integral IT section for the future.

According to the Green Deal proposed by European Commission, Europe will transform into the first carbon-neutral continent by 2050. According to this proposition, Europe’s CO2 needs to be reduced from 40% to 50% by 2030. To achieve the current goal EU plans to transport at least 30% of all goods in Europe by train.
Shifting more volumes and people to the rail network calls for profound investments to increase capacity for all future connections. Building additional infrastructure (new lines, multiply tracks, tunnels) needs a long time for completion and large investments.

To mitigate the situation the existing situation needs to be used more efficiently. Optimalisation of the usage of the current network can be achieved by new working methods and innovative digital solutions, which are introduced through the program TTR for Smart Capacity Management - Digital Capacity Management.
It is expected that the process will increase the capacity by a substantial extent within a short time frame and with particularly smaller investments. Digital Capacity Management arranges smart data management, more fluid traffic, better-planned maintenance work, and more opportunities and flexible connections for freight and passenger trains.

CEO of Lineas, Geert Pauwels said: “Digital Capacity Management is a game-changer. It will help infrastructure managers to make driving a train through Europe as easy as driving a truck.”

Railway Undertakings (RUs) and Rail Infrastructure Managers (IMs) have come to the common conclusion that Digital Capacity Management (DCM) will benefit the whole rail sector. DMC requires only 5% of the cost of building new physical infrastructure and will be available much faster. The overall goal of creating a new common European digital railway infrastructure is expected to fully function in 2-5 years. Funding and resources are seen as essential for the implementations, a total amount of EUR 625 million is estimated for the IMs and RUs IT developments.