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HitRail - [email protected] Helping European Railways Transition to the Digital Future through Cooperation. European Parliament, 6 December 2011. Libor LOCHMAN, CER. CER. Who we are?. CER: who we are…. CER stands for…

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HitRail - [email protected]

Helping European Railways Transition to the Digital Future through Cooperation

European Parliament, 6 December 2011


Who we are


Whowe are?

CER: who we are…

CER stands for…

  • 78 member companies, rail operators, infrastructure managers, leasing companies from all EU countries + accession countries + Western Balkan + Norway and Switzerland: PRIVATE & PUBLIC companies

  • The representation of our members’ interests in Brussels towards the European Parliament, Commission and Council of Ministers as well as other policymakers and partners in transport

  • promoting a strong rail industry that is essential to the creation of a sustainable transport system which is efficient, effective and environmentally sound.

Representing European rail sector in EU

Pro-active shaping of EU agenda

Own initiatives

CER – working structure

CER represents the European rail sector towards the EU

MEMBERS: 78 rail operators and infrastructure companies


  • Infrastructure

  • Passenger

  • Freight

  • High-speed

  • Integrated

  • National associations

  • Leasing companies


Other railway organisations

e.g. AAR, CIT, EIM, OSJD, OTIF, RNE, RŽD, UIC, UNIFE, X-Rail, etc. and… ETF

Other internat. organisations


TRAN Committee

CER Mirror Groups to ERA

ERTMS Corridor

(CER involved)

Commissioner for Transport

Council of Transport Ministers

European Railway Agency (ERA) *

European Commission

European Parliament

Marco Polo and TEN-T Agency (EACI) **

Council of the EU


* The ERA’s main task is to draft proposals for the Commission on railway interoperability and safety

** The EACI executes the TEN-T and Marco Polo funding programmes (monitors projects implementation)

Hasn t rail been in the digital world for quite some time already

Help railways transition to the digital future?

Hasn’t rail been in the digital world for quite some time, already?

Help rail transition to the digital future?! Hasn’t rail been in the digital world for quitesome time?

Contrary to common belief, historically, railways have often been at the forefront of technological innovation, especially in IT. They have, in fact, been one of the first industries to move into the digital world…

  • BCC (Bureau Commun de Compensation) whichis the rail financial clearing house workselectronicallysince the 70’s.

  • 1978: creation of HERMES, first electronic data exchange initiative of the European railways, using a technology later adopted for the Internet.

  • SNCF, first company introducing ticket vending machines using touch screen technology.

  • In 1999-2000, the SNCF website was the first remote sales website in the world in terms of volume of transactions and turnover.

  • voyages-sncf.com and bahn.de are the most visited travel websites in their respective countries

  • Raileurope has been the biggest vendor of European rail tickets oversees for many years, driving IT developments such as their new Euronetdistribution

Today railways are still leaders in it not followers 1
Today, railways are still leaders in IT, not followers (1)

  • With E-RailFreight, rail is the first mode to develop the Electronic Consignment Note on a large scale.

  • EcoPassenger, a multimodal environmentalcalculator & comparatorfor passenger transport, nominatedofficial partnerof the European Union « SustainableEnergy Europe Campaign».

  • EcoTransit, a multimodal environmentalcalculator & comparator for freight, alsonominated official partner of the European Union « SustainableEnergy Europe Campaign ».

Contrary to common belief, railways remain forerunners, collectively as well as individual companies.

A concrete example of the impact of it usage on rus business model e railfreight by raildata

A concrete example of the impact of IT usage on RUs’ business model: E-RailFreight by RailData

In the end, more quality and an economicreward of up to 12€ on each consignment!

E-Rail Freight is a joint RailData-UIC-CIT initiative, managed by RailData…

  • Lesspaper

  • Lessmanual handling

  • No double keying of the data

  • More rapid

  • Lessmistakes


Today railways are still leaders in it not followers 2
Today, railways are still leaders in IT, not followers (2)

RNE PCS(Path Coordination System, former Pathfinder) for international timetabling.

RNE CIS (ChargingInfo System, former EICIS) for calculatinginfra fees on international routes.

RNE TIS (Tain Information System, former Europtirail) for real time information on running trains.

RNE Click&Ride: for booking (international) train pathsat short notice.

Today railways are still leaders in it not followers 3
Today, railways are still leaders in IT, not followers (3)

Technologically state-of-the-art rail traffic management centres have little to envy to air traffic control towers…

55000 rail stations in Europe, against 400 airports. This means more than 1,500,000,000 combinations of rail Origin/ Destinations compared to less than 100,000 possible O-Ds for air.

With 7,000 rail stations in Germany, DB can produce timetable information and tickets on almost 25,000,000 O-Ds (without counting international O-Ds)!

The journey planners and ticketing systems developed by the railways are already among the most powerful that exist. Many railway journey planners even integrate local/regional timetables (including bus, tram…)

Today railways are still leaders in it not followers 4
Today, railways are still leaders in IT, not followers (4)

Railways have been the first to enter the world of mobile WIFI. Thalys is the first company to install WIFI onboard of its trains using satellite connections.

Railways do use mobile applications for real timetable information, real-time traffic updates, information on railway stations… e.g. the Railteam alliance.

railteam.eu, was relaunched on 02/12/2011

Railteam Mobile

Stay on track with your phone

Mainly two it specific regulations

IT-specific regulation in the field of Railways…

Mainly two “IT-specific” regulations

Two main it specific regulations apply to rail tap tsi and taf tsi
TWO main « IT-specific » regulationsapply to rail: TAP TSI and TAF TSI

TAP TSI (Telematic Applications for Passenger Services) set requirements on…

  • The systems providing passengers with information beforethe journey

  • The systems providing passengers with information during the journey

  • The implementation of the PassengerRightsRegulation (PRR)

  • Including the specialtreatment due to PersonswithReduced Mobility, etc.

  • The close alignment with TAF TSI in rail operational matters

    TAFTSI (Telematic Applications for Freight) set requirements on…

  • The real-time monitoring of the freight trains

  • The marshallingand allocation (train composition) systems

  • The reservation of train path for freight trains

  • The management of connections with other modes of transport

  • The production of electronic accompanying documents

Specific sector tap considerations
Specific sector TAP considerations

  • The railways have a solid understanding of customer needs; developments are focused on satisfying these

  • It is important to take the railways’ retail and operational management legacy systems into account

  • With the help of standards defined by the TAP TSI Regulation, convergence will evolve over time – a step-wise approach is preferred over big bang scenarios

    • Cost-effectiveness

    • Learning curve

    • Respect local/ regional/ national specificities

  • Analogies with airline industry standardisation approaches are inappropriate: Much wider range of rail business and functional models, significantly higher complexity (number of stations and ODs, ticket types etc.)

Is regulation really necessary in the field of it

The railways and regulation…

Is regulation really necessary in the field of IT?

Why are the railways not so keen on legislating in the it area
Why are the railways not sokeen on legislating in the IT area?

Contrary to infrastructure or rolling stock, Information Technology has a fasterlifecycle.

  • IT innovation isverydynamic.

  • Products and specifications are rapidlyobsolete.

  • Amortisationcycles are shorter.

  • Legislation cannot always keep pace!

  • Moreover, IT is more and more an element of competitivedifferentiation.

One concreteEXAMPLE…

The TAP TSI regulation stipulates that fare data be exchanged based on a standard for off-line data exchange, whereas good value offers for customers - typically yield- and quota-managed fares that nowadays represent a large part of rail tickets - rely on an on-line, real time exchange of data between actors

The rail market is particularly dynamic and generates it based customer solutions which law cannot
The rail marketisparticularlydynamicand generates IT-basedcustomer solutions, whichlawcannot.

In a more and more competitive world, each railway undertaking develops unimodal and intermodal IT-based customer-oriented products…

On top of individual initiatives, the sectorcollectivelydecides to go beyondregulation, e.g. rail distribution.

TAP TSI requires each RU to make timetable data available to 3rd parties in TAP TSI format. It also sets the standard for the exchange of fare data…

The 1stvoluntary initiative of the sector relates to TIMETABLE data, i.e.:

  • Before TAP TSI deadline, we provide the whole European rail timetable to 3rd parties as a single dataset based on a single commercial agreement.

  • This will be based on providing the UIC-held MERITS timetable database to 3rd parties. MERITS contains comprehensive, aggregated timetable data in a consistent format for all European railways and has been developed by railways over the last six years.

    The 2nd voluntary initiative of the sector relates to FARE DATA EXCHANGE, i.e.:

  • We will go beyond the requirements of TAP TSI with regard to fares and develop an advanced data exchange process in order to be able to exchange real-time price data.

Regulation or standardisation

Lookinginto the future

Regulation or standardisation…

Standards are necessary
Standards are necessary…

Standards are necessary…

  • Not for everything. What’s the use of standards for domestic sales or direct fulfilment?

  • Not on systems. IT systems and processesshould not bestandardised.

  • But on data formats, sothat data canbeexchanged and understood by all.

    Whoshould set the standards? Via whichmeans?

  • Is TAP TSI not going too far into one of rail’s core-business, i.e. distribution?

  • Is TAF TSI not goingtoo far intorailfreightprocesses?

  • Standards are usually best set by the sector


  • Collaboration with politicians should be sought on framework aspects (see next slide giving a concrete example regarding distribution)

For example, in distribution, we propose the followingconcretecooperationbetweensector and politics.

  • We propose to workwith the Commission and the ERA to develop and enhance TAP TSI « fare » specifications to respond to the customersneed for more realtimefare information in the context of increasingliberalisation.

  • We propose thatcompetitionauthorities are made aware of the specificpoliticalrequirements in travel information and ticketingsothat the stakeholdercooperationwhichisencouraged by politicians in this area is not laterchallengedundercompetitionlaw.

  • Rail is the only transport mode which has been imposed a uniform standard for data exchange (TAP TSI). We propose to work with other information providers than rail (especially local travel planners and other modes’ planners) to encourage them to develop interfaces compatible with TAP TSI. This may also be encouraged via EU funding programmes.

  • The sameapplies to encouraging local travelplanners to exchange information with long-distance planners, in order to facilitateintegration of planners.

  • We propose to encourage the use of environmental impact calculatorsby all modes and all information providers in new and existingjourneyplanners.

Guarantee impartial and transparent information to customers
Guarantee impartial and transparent information to customers?

  • Today, « information » is of strategic value.

  • Thosewho are in control of the information detain the power.

  • Let’s avoid the emergence of private oligopoles on information.

  • TAP TSI puts an obligation on railways to maketheirtimetable information available to third parties. But whomakes sure thatthird parties are not misusingit, e.g. by playing the onesagainst the others and by levyingfees for best visibility?

  • Information provision by privatethird parties is in no way a guarantee of transparency or impartiality. For information providers, information is money.

  • Information and distribution are part of the core business of ourindustry. Weneed to remain in control, whetherwedecide to workwith 3rd parties or not.

  • In any case, weaskpoliticians to bewary and not throw transport operatorstooquicklyinto the arms of potential « information speculators ».

Thank you for your attention


Deputy Executive Director

Tel: +32 2 213 08 82

Email: [email protected]

For further information,

visit our website: www.cer.be

Thank you for your attention!