1. What is the Corridor OSS?
The Corridor OSS (C-OSS) is a joint body which has been designated by the IMs/AB along the Corridor to manage in a single place and in a single operation path requests for freight trains crossing at least one border along a Corridor and containing at least a PaP (according to Article 13 of EU Regulation 913/2010).
On Rail Freight Corridor North-Sea Baltic North Sea - Baltic DB Netz has been appointed to execute this task on behalf of the IMs/AB along the Corridor.
For more information please refer to C-OSS subpage
2. What is PCS?
The “Path Coordination System (PCS)” is an internet-based application for handling international path requests provided by RailNetEurope (RNE). PCS is the mandatory tool for all path requests regarding PaP and reserve capacity.
3. How to get access to PCS?
Access to the tool 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, applicants have to send their request to RNE via firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. How to get informed about terms and conditions of the Corridor?
Terms and conditions can be found in the Corridor Information Document (CID), Book 4. This document is published in the download area.
Pre-arranged Path (PaP)
1. What is a Pre-arranged path (PaP)?
A PaP is an international pre-constructed path based on standard parameters for rail freight and offered by the Corridor OSS on basis of Article 13 and 14 of EU Regulation 913/2010.
On Rail Freight Corridor North-Sea Baltic North Sea - Baltic PaPs will be an assembly of several PaP sections / segments and constructed for entire long distance relations. According to the “supply offer model” PaPs do not include terminals and/or facilities (e.g. stabling sidings etc.) however the connection from/to a terminal or facilities can be requested in form of a feeder/outflow path (see question 12). Rail Freight Corridor North-Sea Baltic North Sea – Baltic offers two types of PaPs: Fix PaPs and Flex PaPs.
2. What is a Fix PaP?
A Fix-PaP is a PaP defined by fixed data (departure times, arrival times, times at the border/handover points between IMs). Fix data cannot be changed. This type of PaPs are currently offered by ProRail and Infrabel.
3. What is a Flex PaP?
A Flex-PaP is a PaP defined with a range of flexible data (e.g. standard running time, location and duration of stops for intermediate / operational points within the bandwidth defined in CID book 4). The bandwidth approach allows the applicants to place a request according to their needs and guarantees a customized offer.
This type of PaPs are currently offered by DB Netz, SZCZ PKP-PLK, LGT Infra and from RC TT2021 also by LDz, EVR.
4. Do PaPs have special train parameters?
The PaP shows the maximal possible train parameters on the concerning section.
5. When and where will the Corridor OSS publish the PaP catalogue?
The PaP catalogue is published mid-January of each year for the following network timetable (11 months before timetable change). The PaP is displayed in the IT-Tool PCS of RNE and the PaP catalogue is also published on the website of RFC North Sea -Baltic.
Process overview for Capacity Requests (PaP and RC) and their allocation:
• X- 11: Publication of PaPs for the annual timetable by the C-OSS
• X – 11 till X – 8: Application for PaPs for the yearly timetable
• X – 8: Deadline for submitting PaP-requests by Applicants
• X-7.5: Pre-Allocation decision of PaPs by C-OSS
• Customer Information on the results of the Pre-Allocation by C-OSS
• X – 5: Publication of the Draft Offer by the C-OSS
• X-5 till X-4: Observations from Applicants
• X-4 till X-3.5: Post-processing and Publication of Final Offer by the C-OSS
• X – 2: Publication of the Offer for Reserve Capacity by the C-OSS
• X: Timetable change
6. In which way a PaP is protected / reserved for international rail freight?
PaPs are protected in the IMs planning system/tool against major changes due to other path requests during the allocation phase performed by the Corridor OSS. In this sense PaPs are dedicated for international rail freight only.
7. Who is entitled to apply for PaPs?
According to article 15 of the Regulation (EU) 913/2010 and the Directive 2012/34/EU, an applicant means a railway undertaking (RU) or an international grouping of RUs or other persons or legal entities, such as shippers, freight forwarders and combined transport operators, with a commercial interest in procuring infrastructure capacity.
Non RU-Applicants will have to appoint a railway undertaking for PaPs 30 days before the running day. The Corridor OSS will check the legitimation of the applicant before/during the allocation phase to be sure that the applicant is allowed to request capacity.
8. Where, when and how a PaP request can be placed?
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 an additional operational point to the PaP request.
The deadline for placing the PaP request is the usual deadline for path ordering for the annual timetable which is the second Monday in April – as published in RNE Process Calendar under link www.rne.eu/process-calendar.html
Requests for a Flex-PaP have to respect the fixed data and the given range of flexible data. Within the given range the applicant may shape the request according to his individual needs (e. g. by choosing the location / duration of stops) without exceeding the given running time per PaP section.
9. In case of Flex-PaP is it possible to request stops at any point along the corridor?
It’s allowed if the PaP request does not exceed the flex PaP constraints (maximum number of stops, maximum stopping time, standard running time of the PaP section).
10. May I apply for feeder/outflow paths in connection to PaPs?
Yes, you may apply at the Corridor OSS for feeder/outflow paths in connection to PaPs
Terminal slots and other facilities (e.g. stabling sidings, etc.) have to be requested at the responsible entities itself (see Corridor Information Document Book 3).
The Corridor OSS will ask the concerned national IM/AB 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 IM directly. The Corridor OSS will consolidate the timetable offer (PaP incl. feeder/ouflow) and communicate the entire timetable offer (PaP incl. feeder/outflow) to you.
11. In case of Flex-PaP is it possible to join or leave the corridor with feeder and outflow paths at any point along the corridor?
Yes, at intermediate points it is possible to join and leave the Corridor. The schematic map of the corridor (see CID Book 4, chapter 220.127.116.11) shows the points in detail.
12. What happens if I apply for PaP after the official application deadline (late request)?
The Corridor will not offer a specific path product for late path request.
Applications placed after the official deadline for annual timetable (=late requests) will be forwarded by the Corridor OSS to the concerned infrastructure managers for further treatment. The infrastructure managers will decide upon late requests in remaining capacity. The result/timetable offer will then be communicated to you via the Corridor OSS/PCS as your single point of contact.
13. What happens if I withdraw/change my path request before accepting the final path offer?
The withdrawal has to be done in PCS. The national conditions for withdrawal of a PaP request is described in the Network Statements of the individual IMs and can also be found in Book 4 of the Corridor Information Document, chapter 3.7.
Change requests for PaPs placed by the applicant after the X-8 deadline until X-5 are treated by the Corridor OSS according to the following rule:
Allocation on Pre-arranged Paths (PaPs)
1. How does the Corridor OSS make the allocation decision on PaP in case of conflicting requests?
In this case the C-OSS applies the Corridor specific priority rules as described in the Framework for Capacity Allocation, which can be found in the download area.
2. When will I be informed about the allocation decision?
By the end of April you will receive preliminary information on the result of the PaP allocation decision of the Corridor OSS (which means 2 months earlier than in the regular timetable process) The final allocation decision is published with the final offer in PCS.
3. Do I have to apply again if the PaP has been allocated to a competing applicant?
No – your request is in any case valid as on-time request for the network timetable. You will receive an alternative PaP or tailor-made offer by the Corridor OSS, if available.
4. How will the draft / final path offer be submitted?
The draft and final path offer will be submitted in the PCS-Tool.
5. Who is my contracting partner for the infrastructure usage contract?
Your contracting partners for the infrastructure usage contract are the individual national IMs not the Corridor OSS itself.
6. How to cancel paths after concluding the usage contract and with which consequences?
For cancellations, the individual user conditions of the national infrastructure managers published in the national Network Statements and also listed in the Corridor Information Document Book 4, chapter 3.7.4. apply.
1. What is reserve capacity?
Reserve Capacity is offered, if remaining capacity is still available on the corridor in form of a flexible approach - certain number/contingent of capacity slots for international rail freight per day and corridor segment published by the Corridor OSS. Applicants may place path requests at the Corridor OSS for their ad-hoc traffic in the range of the published reference running times until 30 days before the first day of operation whereas short-term traffic under 30 days still need to be requested at the individual infrastructure managers. The timeframe for Reserve Capacity requests is +/- 3 hours from the reference point the applicant indicates (start or end of request).
2. How and when will reserve capacity be published?
Reserve Capacity is published in October for the upcoming timetable period in PCS..
3. How will reserve capacity be allocated?
Reserve Capacity will be allocated by the Corridor OSS according to the “first come, first serve” principle.