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Glossary

Applicant
Applicants permitted to order basic and ancillary services include railway undertakings and other freight-forwarding undertakings with an interest in carrying out rail traffic operations.

Application conflict
Situation in which two or more mutually conflicting train paths cannot be allocated.

First-come, first-served
Applications for residual capacity in the running timetable are processed in the order in which they are received by the TVS. This is known as the first-come, first-served principle.

Rail freight corridors
Important international routes on which cross-border rail freight traffic operates. The two freight corridors of particular relevance to Switzerland are the Rhine-Alpine and North Sea-Mediterranean corridors. These rail corridors are to be equipped with the standard European rail traffic management system ERTMS.
Regulation (EU) No 913/2010 on a European rail network for competitive freight has been in force in the EU since 9 November 2010. This Regulation introduced additional procedures to strengthen cooperation between European IMs and capacity allocation bodies regarding the allocation of cross-border train paths for freight trains.

Conflict resolution negotiations
A coordination process implemented to resolve a conflict between orders. The capacity allocation body and the IMs concerned work with the railway undertakings involved in the conflict to identify reasonable alternative train paths and/or ancillary services.

Network Statement (network access and network usage conditions)
Each infrastructure manager communicates the conditions and usage requirements of its track network in a Network Statement. In the Network Statement, TVS publishes the applicable ordering and allocation conditions for train paths and ancillary services. These conditions apply equally to all applicants and network users.

Network usage concept (NUC) and network usage plans (NUPs)
The purpose of the NUC and NUPs is to ensure that there is fair and equal access to capacities for freight and passenger traffic on the Swiss track network and to provide attractive terms to both types of traffic in the long term. They are drawn up by SBB Infrastruktur on behalf of the FOT and provide a binding allocation criterion for train path allocation.
The NUC sets the planned train path usage by passenger and freight traffic for a model hour for every section of the track network. The NUPs provide details of train path allocation for each timetable year six years in advance and are updated when necessary. The Federal Council approves the NUC and the FOT approves the NUPs. The NUPs serve as the basis for train path allocation.

Track access priority rule
When a path conflict occurs and mediation is unsuccessful, the TVS decides which application to accept and which one to reject. It does this based on the applicable priority rules laid down in the Railways Act (EBG), Rail Network Access Ordinance (RailNAO) and FOT Ordinance to the Rail Network Access Ordi-nance (RNAO-FOT).

Framework agreement
Contract between an applicant and an infrastructure manager. The infrastructure manager guarantees to the applicant capacities for the duration of the order period. In return, the applicant undertakes to order this capacity. Capacities are not precisely defined train paths but a guarantee to receive offers of train paths whose scope is yet to be agreed.

Train path
A train path (comparable to an aircraft slot in the airline industry) is the entitlement to run a specific train defined in terms of its length, weight, loading gauge and speed on a particular section of the rail network at a given time.

Train path request
Train path requests are applications for train paths submitted by railway undertakings or third parties entitled to order on the 2nd Monday in April for the annual timetable and applications for train paths in the current timetable.

Train path catalogue
The inventory of pre-configured train paths for freight traffic on the North-South corridors Gotthard and Lötschberg-Simplon published on the second Monday in January as a catalogue for the following timetable year.
Simultaneously, under EU Regulation No 913/2010, another catalogue of special train paths is published by the rail freight corridors on behalf of the concerned IMs; these train paths have been harmonised inter-nationally and are protected from being used for other purposes.

Ancillary service
Ancillary services are services provided by infrastructure managers that can be applied for by a railway undertaking using a train path. Examples of ancillary services include train stabling and shunting in marshalling yards.

 

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