In the last period with the increase of international traffic on Europeans corridors and the need for high quality routes, Infrastructure Managers have started to become aware of the need to coordinate maintenance and renewal works to reduce and optimise the track possession time required to carry out works.
When managing the available capacity and work organisation, railways are starting to consider operations and work planning as a cross-domain problem.
At the initiative of Robert Herbacek, Chairman of the Operation Focus Group, this item was put forward as a major topic of interest for IMs in the reduction of costs for work and for the increase of available capacity for RUs.
In the meantime, in the light of leaflet 451-2 “Coordination of work sites and operating measures to be taken on main lines particularly for international traffic” establishes that each UIC member railway, “shall nominate a department to be in charge of the overall Track and Operations planning process, as appropriate to the structure of its own national organisation. This department shall also act as a point of contact for coordination with neighbouring railways”.
This first workshop was dedicated to identify the best practices of different countries across Europe and to prepare a further coordination and propose common best practices for the members. The first Paris workshop was attended by OEBB, DB Netz, SNCF/RFF, Infrabel, FTA, SBB and five other IMs expressed their interest in participating (RFI, MÁV, SŽDČ, PLK-SA, Prorail).
The participants had a very interesting and rich exchange of experience and they considered that there was a very strong need to coordinate the corridor capacity allocation for works. They also proposed a future guideline for best practices planning, coordination and publication of track possessions for works on international cross-border operations.