FAQs

C-OSS - GENERAL INFORMATION

What is the Corridor One-Stop- Shop?

The C-OSS is your exclusive point of contact to request and receive the dedicated infrastructure capacity on the Scandinavian Mediterranean Corridor. The handling of the requests takes thus place in a single place and a single operation. The C-OSS is exclusively responsible for performing all the activities related to the publication and allocation decision with regard to requests for PaPs and RC on behalf of the IMs concerned. The C-OSS is designated by the Infrastructure Managers involved in ScanMed RFC (according to Article 13 of EU Regulation 913/2010).

When and where does the Corridor One-Stop-Shop (C-OSS) publish the PaP-Catalogue?

The PaP-Catalogue is published mid-January of every year for the following network timetable (11 months before timetable change). The Pre-arranged Path Catalogue is published in PCS (Path Coordination System) and on our Corridor Website. 

What is the Path Coordination System and where can I find more information about PCS?

The “Path Coordination System” (PCS) is an internet-based application provided by RailNetEurope (RNE) for handling yourinternational path requests. PCS is the single tool for publishing the binding PaP and RC offer of the corridor and for placing and managing international path requests on the corridor. Your applications for PaPs/RC can thus only be made via PCS to the involved C-OSS.

Detailed information about PCS can be found under http://pcs.rne.eu
Content Management System (CMS) http://cms.rne.eu/pcs/documentation provides explanation, support and trainings on PCS.

Your access to PCS is free of charge and granted to all applicants who have a valid, signed PCS User Agreement with RNE. To receive access to the tool you have to send your request to RNE via support.pcs@rne.eu

PAP OFFER AND PATH REQUEST MANAGEMENT

What is the Corridor Capacity Offer?

ScanMed RFC offers you two capacity products:

  • Pre-arranged paths (PaPs) for your yearly timetable
  • Reserve Capacity (RC) for your short-term traffic
What are the Pre-arranged paths (PaPs)?

PaPs are a joint offer of coordinated cross-border paths for the annual timetable produced by Infrastructure Managers involved in the Corridor. The C-OSS acts as a single point of contact for the publication and allocation of PaPs. The offer might also include some purely national PaP sections – to be requested from the C-OSS for freight trains crossing at least one border on a corridor in the context of international path applications.
A catalogue of PaPs is published for you by the C-OSS in preparation of each timetable period both in PCS and on the Corridor's website.

What is a Flex PaP?

A Flex-PaP is a PaP with extended flexibility, enabling you to modity the timetable in your path request according to your individual needs, but without exceeding the standard train parameters and without modifying the times at the border locations.

In case of Flex-PaP, is it possible to request stops at any point along the Corridor?

If the amount and duration does not exceed the standard running time of the PaP section and the times at the borders can be respected, it is possible to request stops at any point along the Corridor. The PaP-Catalogue indicates the maximum stopping time for each point.

What are feeder/outflow paths?

A feeder/outflow path refers to any path section prior to reaching an intermediate point on a corridor (feeder path) or any path section after leaving a corridor at an intermediate point (outflow path).
You can request feeder and outflow paths in one step and in a single Dossier with the PaPs. The C-OSS provides you with a complete offer, including both PaP sections and the feeder and outflow paths.

Does a pre-arranged path have special parameters?

The PaP has standard train parameters. The maximum parameters allowed for each PaP section are published both in PCS and in the PaP Catalogue on our Website (include direct link to the catalogue).

What is the difference between a pre-arranged path and a national path?

Pre-arranged paths are international paths which:

  • are already harmonized at the network borders
  • are protected against construction works
  • are fully dedicated to the Corridor
  • are exclusively distributed and managed by the Corridor One-Stop-Shop on behalf of the national infrastructure managers
  • are exclusively allocated by the C-OSS on behalf of the Infrastructure Managers by following harmonized priority rules
  • can be exclusively requested via PCS (Path Coordination System)

National Catalogue Paths:

  • can be requested at national infrastructure managers
  • will be allocated by the national IMs individually based on national rules only
How is a pre-arranged path protected / reserved for international rail freight?

A pre-arranged path is reserved capacity in the IMs planning system/tool. It is thus protected against major changes triggered due to other path requests. In this sense pre-arranged paths are dedicated for international rail freight on the Corridor.

Who is entitled to apply for a corridor capacity?

Railway undertakings, international groupings of railway undertakings or other persons or legal entities, such as shippers, freight forwarders and combined transport operators with a public-service or commercial interest in procuring infrastructure capacity (according to Article 15 of EU Regulation 913/2010 and Article 3.19 of EU Directive 2012/34) are entitled to apply for Corridor Capacity (PaPs and RC).

Where, when and how do I place a PaP-Request?

The PaP request can only be placed in PCS by choosing the relevant PaP from the catalogue and by copying/creating it in PCS, in a so called PCS dossier. The request may include feeder and outflow paths by adding additional operational points to the PaP request.
Your C-OSS will be glad to offer you support and trainings in PCS.
The deadline for placing a PaP request is the usual deadline for path ordering for annual timetable which is the second Monday in April – as published in RNE Process Calendar here (http://www.rne.eu/process-calendar.html)

Whenever you place a request for a Flex-PaP, the request has to respect the fixed border times and the given range of flexible data. Within the given range you may compose your request according to your individual needs (e.g. by choosing the location / duration of stops) without exceeding the given running time per pre-arranged path section.

Which are the requirements for a request for international freight capacity to be handled by the C-OSS?

A request for international freight capacity via the C-OSS has to fulfil the following requirements:

  • it must be submitted to a C-OSS by using PCS, including at least one PaP/RC section
  • it must cross at least one border on a corridor
  • it must comprise a train run from origin to destination, including sections on one or more corridors as well as feeder and/or outflow paths, on all of its running days
  • the technical parameters of the path request have to be within the range of the parameters – as originally published – of the requested PaP sections (exceptions are possible if allowed by the IMs concerned, e.g. when the timetable of the PaP can be respected)
  • as regards sections with flexible times, the applicant may adjust/insert times, stops and parameters according to its individual needs within the given range
May I place a request only for a national section of a PaP?

According to the Framework for Capacity Allocation a national PaP section can be requested only for freight trains crossing at least one border on a Corridor in the context on an international path request. This means that the request (PaP or Feeder path or Outflow path) has to cross at least one corridor border on one of the nine Rail Freight Corridors.

Am I allowed to request PaP sections interrupted by a tailor made request?

If you request corridor capacity (on one or more corridors) in the following order

  • PaP section
  • Tailor-made section
  • PaP section

than these requests will be taken into consideration, depending on the reference point in the request, as follows:

  • Reference point at the beginning: the C-OSS pre-books the PaP sections from origin until the end of the first continuous PaP section. No section after the interruption of PaP sections will be pre-booked; they will be treated as tailor-made.
  • Reference point at the end: the C-OSS pre-books the PaP sections from the destination of the request until the end of the last continuous PaP section. No sections between the origin and the interruption of the PaP sections will be pre-booked; they will be treated as tailor-made.
  • Reference point in the middle: the C-OSS pre-books the longest of the requested PaP sections either before or after the interruption. No other section will be pre-booked; they will be treated as tailor-made.

However, in each of the above cases, the requested PaP capacity that becomes tailor-made might be allocated at a later stage if the IMs can deliver the tailor-made share as requested. In case of allocation, the PaP share that can become tailor-made retains full protection.

Is it possible to request capacity on more than one Corridor in a single PCS Dossier?

It is possible for capacity requests to cover more than one corridor. You may request PaP sections on different corridors within one request. Each C-OSS remains responsible for allocating its own PaP sections, but you may address your questions to only one of the involved C-OSSs, who will coordinate with the other concerned C-OSSs whenever needed.

What happens if I withdraw/change my path request before accepting the final path offer?

Withdrawing a request is only possible

  • between X-8 (after path requests deadline) and X-5 (before draft offer) for the annual timetable
  • before allocation during the ad-hoc path request phase.

    The withdrawal has to be done in PCS. For the withdrawal of a PaP-Request the national conditions of the individual infrastructure managers, described in the Network Statements apply. Please consult the Corridor Information Document – Book II for an easy access to the Network Statements and Book IV for a general overview of the national rules for withdrawal.
How does the Corridor One-Stop-Shop take the allocation decision on a pre-arranged path?

In case of conflicting requests the priority rule will be applied by the C-OSS. The priority rule has been adopted by the ministries of transport along the Corridor. It’s described in detail in the current Framework for Capacity Allocation (FCA) which can be found under http://scanmedfreight.eu/information/documents/

The priority is calculated according to this formula:

K = (LPAP + LF/O) x YRD

LPAP = Total requested length of all PaP sections on all involved corridors included in one request. The definition of a request can be found in Chapter 3.3.

LF/O = Total requested length of the feeder/outflow path(s) included in one request; for the sake of practicality, is assumed to be the distance as the crow flies.

YRD = Number of requested running days for the timetable period. A running day will only be taken into account for the priority calculation if it refers to a date with a published PaP offer for the given section.

K = The rate for priority

All lengths are counted in kilometres.

The method of applying this formula is:

  • in a first step the priority value (K) is calculated using only the total requested length of pre-arranged path (LPAP) multiplied by the Number of requested running days (YRD);
  • if the requests cannot be separated in this way, the priority value (K) is calculated using the total length of the complete paths (LPAP + LF/O) multiplied by the number of requested running days (YRD) in order to separate the requests;
  • if the requests cannot be separated in this way, a random selection is used to separate the requests. This random selection is described in 3.4.3.5.
When will I be informed about the allocation decision?

The C-OSS provides interim information to you on the status of their application at
X-7.5. The interim notification informs applicants with a higher priority value (K value) about the allocation decision in their favour and it announces the submission of the draft timetable offer at X-5 via PCS.
In case of conflicting requests with a lower priority, the C-OSS might offer an alternative PaP. You have to accept or reject the offered alternative within 5 calendar days. In case you do not answer, or reject the alternative, the C-OSS forwards the original request to the IMs concerned. The C-OSS informs you with a lower priority value (K value) by X-7.5 that their path request has been forwarded to the IMs concerned for further treatment within the regular process for the annual timetable construction, and that the C-OSS will provide the draft path offer on behalf of the IMs concerned at X-5 via PCS. These applications are handled by the IMs concerned as on-time applications for the annual timetable and are therefore included in the regular national construction process of the annual timetable.

Do I have to apply again if the pre-arranged path has been allocated to a competing applicant?

No – your request is in any case valid as an on-time request for the yearly timetable. You will receive a tailor-made offer provided by the Corridor One-Stop-Shop via PCS on behalf of the concerned IMs. The tailor made offer will be constructed as close as possible to your original PaP request.

How will the draft / final path offer be submitted?

The draft and final path offer will be submitted by the C-OSS via PCS-Tool by respecting the international deadlines.

Who is my contracting partner for the infrastructure usage contract?

Your contracting partners for the infrastructure usage contract are the individual national infrastructure managers and not the Corridor One-Stop-Shop itself. Therefore, the national rules from the Network Statements of the IMs apply for concluding the infrastructure usage contracts.

How do I cancel paths after concluding the usage contract and what are the consequences?

Cancellation refers to the phase between final allocation and the train run. Cancellation can refer to one, several or all running days and to one, several or all sections of the allocated path.
In case a path has to be cancelled, for whatever reason, the cancellation has to be done according to national processes. Thus,cancellations (after the final offer) have to be placed directly to the national IM’s. Please consult the Corridor Information Document – Book II for an easy access to the Network Statements and Book IV for a general overview of the national rules for cancellations.

RESERVE CAPACITY

What is reserve capacity?

Reserve Capacity is offered using a flexible approach based on a certain number/contingent of capacity slots for international rail freight per day, direction and corridor section. You may send path requests to the Corridor One-Stop-Shop for your ad-hoc traffic in the range of the published reference running times until 30 days before the first day of operation. S-term traffic under 30 days needs to be requested from the individual infrastructure Managers.)
For ordering reserve capacity slots, corridor sections without any time indication are available in PCS. You may indicate your individually required departure and/or arrival times, feeder and outflow path(s) as well as reference points. The indications should respect the indicated standard running times as far as possible.

How and when will reserve capacity be published?

Reserve Capacity will be published in October for the upcoming timetable period both in PCS and on this website.

How will reserve capacity be allocated?

Reserve Capacity will be allocated by the Corridor One-Stop-Shop according to the “first come, first served” principle.

How does the RFC coordinate its activities with other corridors, respectively other parts of the networks?

The RFC Scan Med is an integrated part of the national networks, respectively the European network. The coordination is carried out on the working level by experts of the Infrastructure Managers as well as its Management Board (MB) members in the RFC network.

May I apply for feeder/outflow paths in connection to a pre-arranged path?

Yes, you may apply at the Corridor One-Stop-Shop for feeder and outflow paths in one step and in a single Dossier with the PaPs.

The Corridor One-Stop-Shop will ask the concerned national infrastructure managers to produce the relevant timetable offer for the feeder/outflow path. Questions occurring during the path elaboration process of the feeder may also be discussed and arranged between you and the concerned infrastructure manager directly. If the delivered feeder/outflow path does not fit to the pre-allocated pre-arranged path at the connecting point, the Corridor One-Stop-Shop may offer an alternative pre-arranged path -if available- to build a harmonized offer. In any case the Corridor One-Stop-Shop will consolidate the timetable offer (pre-arranged path incl. feeder/outflow paths) and communicate the entire timetable offer (pre-arranged path incl. feeder/outflow paths) to you.

PATH ALLOCATION ON A PRE-ARRANGED PATH

What and where do I need to pay for the capacity allocated by the C-OSS? Are the PaPs more expensive than the national paths?

The Pre-Arranged-Paths are subject to the national charging systems of each Infrastructure Manager. Therefore, the PaPs have the same price as any path for an international standard freight train.

How does the RFC coordinate its activities with other corridors, respectively other parts of the networks?

The RFC Scan Med is an integrated part of the national networks, respectively the European network. The coordination is carried out on the working level by experts of the Infrastructure Managers as well as its Management Board (MB) members in the RFC network.