Development in the railway sector is currently focused on EU deadlines for exchange and settlement of energy in July of 2020.
International collaboration within the railway energy sector in Europe promotes this effort to standardise. Train companies work together to compete as a green transportation method into the future.
The European Commission previously published regulation EU 2018/868. This implementation regulation closed the open point of communication between onboard energy meters to the data collection systems on the ground.
As of 4 July 2020, every EU member state must ensure that it has implemented an on-ground settlement system. Each suitable settlement system accurately receives data from a Data Collection System (DCS) and accepts the data for billing. The settlement system exchanges Compiled Energy Billing Data (CEBD) with other settlement systems. Then, the settlement system validates the CEBD and allocates consumption data to whoever requires the information. The dissemination of this data considers all relevant legislation, both national and that of the European Commission.
Eight European countries, including Sweden, Finland, Belgium, The Netherlands, and most recently Spain, decided to join with Eress to use Erex. Each saw the need to forestall implementation and management issues to comply with these EU regulations.
The proposal to regulate the governance of the Energy Union is all part of the ‘Clean Energy for all Europeans’ package. Issued in 2016 by the European Commission, the package includes legislative proposals to deliver the EU 2030 climate and energy targets.
Measured train journeys show 30 percent energy savings when using the Erex system from Eress. This achievement meets and exceeds the EU’s environmental target of a 27 percent increase in energy efficiency by 2030.
The Energy Union governance system helps coordinate efforts and develops long-term strategies for decarbonisation. By November 2015, the Council of the EU had adopted conclusions that identified the governance system’s main components. Specifically, they stressed that National Plans would need to be finalised by December 2019. Now, the next phases for 2020 and 2022 move forward in the pre-determined timeline.
Starting in November 2014, energy meters became compulsory on all new, renewed and upgraded rolling stock. (Commission Regulation 1302/2014)
Every EU country, starting in 2020, must have a settlement system. By July 2020, each member state in the EU must exchange and settle energy data. This includes both the validation and allocation of energy consumption to the correct end-users. (Commission Regulation 1301/2014)
Every EU country must have a Data Collection System (DCS) in place by 2022. Starting in January 2022, each member state in the EU must collect and exchange energy data. (Commission Implementing Act amendment of TSI ENE and TSI LOC&PAS)
Railway energy interoperability makes it possible for international trains to pass smoothly throughout the EU using different national railway systems. This cooperation is vital to the creation of a functional, integrated European railway. Interoperability enhances train transport competitiveness for both passengers and freight. So, operators and infrastructure managers adopting energy monitoring and billing systems link directly to technical harmonisation for railway energy ulitisation.
An accurate measurement of energy consumption is the starting point for energy efficiency programmes. A clear understanding of energy usage patterns allows users to modify behaviours and shift standards. In addition, accurate measurement of energy consumption is a prerequisite for correct settlement and billing of energy costs. Train operators pay for their real energy consumption and at the correct marked prices. Neither consumption nor marked prices can rely on inaccurate estimates.
The EU Exchange, Settlement and Collection of Energy Solutions Regulations require members to make changes for July 2020 and January 2022. Each EU country is expected to put an energy settlement system in place by 4 July 2020. Then, the data collection system can wait to be on the ground by 2022.
Using Erex fulfils all current EU requirements.
For invoices to be processed accurately, EU countries must meet two specific requirements. Firstly, the train operators are required to have onboard energy meters installed on all trains. Secondly, infrastructure managers must implement a data collection service that collects data from each of the onboard energy meters. Then, the data is processed by an energy settlement system that analyses and sorts all energy data according to national rules and prepares the invoices.
Mandatory energy meters have been around since the previous EU commission regulation in 2014 on new, renewed, and upgraded rolling stock. Nothing changed in terms of energy billing in 2019. However, for 4 July 2020, every EU member state must have their energy settlement system up and running. With only a few months to meet the deadline, countries are out of time for developing and implementing these settlement systems on their own.
For EU member states that have preferred to develop and implement a separate, distinct system, they created a tender, followed up, and will need to put it in service. This complex process is both expensive and time-consuming, uses infrastructure personnel and resources, and adds additional technical and non-compliance risks. Fortunately, joining a successful, fully functional, running application with customised features saves time, budget and eliminates non-compliance risks. Without the requirement to create a tender, the most efficient way to meet the 4 July deadline is to join Eress.
Ultimately, these latest EU regulations are designed to standardise the railway sector. Since each country shares borders with other countries, managing a multitude of approaches to energy settlement becomes an enormous challenge. As more EU member states use the standardised Erex system, more precise energy settlements expedite billing processes across the industry. The same energy settlement system across borders allows countries greater freedom of collaboration. Plus, a consistent approach allows for absolute elimination of any country-to-country data exchange issues.
Measured train journeys show a 30 percent energy savings when using Erex. Since the EU environmental target for 2030 is a 27 percent increase in energy efficiency, so far, eight EU member states have implemented the all-in-one, customisable system.
The highest expense for train operators remains as payments to access the network. However, the second-most significant expense is energy costs. So, energy metering, data collection, and accurate invoicing based on metered data become a critical issue across the sector.
Previously reluctant train operators managed the costs of meter installation for initial compliance. Over time the operators discovered that metered energy allows infrastructure managers to invoice accurately. When bills are based on the exact cost of energy consumption, operators focus on saving energy. More efficient operation becomes top-of-mind, so by purchasing energy-efficient rolling stock, train operators have quickly seen continual returns on their investments.
To determine the return on investment (ROI), train operators compare installation costs of the meters to the annual consumption costs of traction units. The initial investment of between €10,000 to €20,000 immediately gains between five and ten percent yearly return. So, the meters often take only one year to see a return, although some do take up to two years, at most.
Energy metering allows train operators to know precisely how much energy they save. And, therefore, support a reduction of the energy bills. So, protecting the environment through saving energy and cutting costs by paying for meters upfront provides an enormous incentive for EU member states to start metering energy consumption.
Energy meters directly impact energy efficiency. Eco-driving, analysing the energy consumption, and the circulation of rolling stock material all engage through the use of energy metering systems.
Infrastructure managers use onboard energy meters for more precise data. From an infrastructure perspective, more accurate data allows for more precise forecasting and settlements. Ultimately, this develops a foundation for additional market fairness. Plus, when operators fully equip their trains with onboard meters, they then attain the direct right to purchase energy for real marked prices.
In most countries, energy settlement and billing systems are notoriously complex. However, many still flounder, trying to measure exact energy consumption levels. The installation of onboard energy meters by train operators enables infrastructure managers to provide accurate invoicing services. Energy settlement and billing systems rely on the onboard energy meters to collect the initial data. Only then can accurate invoices be created based on the real energy consumption, instead of estimated consumption levels.
Infrastructure managers can then oversee energy distribution in the most efficient way possible. Besides, train operators become more responsible for individual energy consumption levels. As a result, the operators are more likely to behave proactively to improve energy efficiency.
The chain of dependencies, including the onboard meters, energy settlement and billing systems, develop a foundation for international communication and energy savings.
Eight European countries, including Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, Belgium, The Netherlands, and most recently, Spain, have implemented Erex, the Eress, open-source cross-border system. This metered energy billing works independently of each country’s infrastructure and the train operators. A radical innovation for the railway sector, any existing system can utilise the complete Erex solution with almost no learning curve.
When Swiss Railways (SBB) decided to introduce energy billing using onboard meters, they quickly discovered there were many questions, complications and potential risks. They needed to define billing systems criteria to cover every possible scenario. They soon recognised that a whole new system would have been costly, plus their personnel didn’t have this kind of knowledge or experience. So, they joined Eress.
As a result, they quickly introduced a fully operational, industry-proven, metered billing system customised to the Swiss railway network.
Some customisation and adaptation to domestic specifications make this turn-key solution a natural choice. Each member state saves thousands of hours and the high costs of specialised R&D. All of the research and development is complete in this ready-to-use application. This is true for all EU member states.
The rail infrastructure manager in Spain, ADIF, maintains a strong commitment to the EU community, energy conservation and sustainable development. As of 1 January 2020, the Spanish state-owned Administrator of Railway Infrastructures, ADIF, joined as the eighth European Eress partner.
ADIF sees the Erex IT solution as an innovative industry leader between the energy and railway sectors. Facing the July 2020 deadline, ADIF searched for an accurate method to invoice the energy consumed by national trains. They knew they required a solution to perform actual calculations for each and every train across their network.
“It is key for ADIF to be ready to face the new challenges that the liberalisation of the passenger service will bring up. The deadline set by the EU for the supply and invoicing of energy based on the amount of electricity effectively consumed by each train is fast approaching. Therefore, it is important for us to ensure that we will be ready to enforce a single system already implemented in seven other European countries.”
The core values of ADIF focus on a spirit of responsible social commitment to the European community and within Spain.
“In addition, it is important for us to learn from the successful experiences in Norway, Belgium, Denmark, Switzerland, Sweden, Netherlands and Finland that have already overcome the challenge. We hope that the agreement we have just signed with Eress on 1 January 2020, will help us succeed in our goal of implementing this system under a framework of certainty, confidence and transparency.”
As a result, ADIF, the infrastructure manager, and train operators in Spain, now benefit from imported, secured, allocated, settled and distributed data, following national and international requirements.
As other European countries follow ADIF’s example, the railway sector could reduce the consumption of electrical power comparable to 35 million European households.
“As Spain puts the Erex system into production, we see this as another major milestone for the standardisation of settling traction energy throughout Europe. The Eress organisation has been working closely with ADIF to be able to take this step into the future. We have seen continual growth recently, and the fact that Spain is running its data on the Erex system again confirms that we are absolutely prepared to satisfy even the most demanding requirements.”
EU Regulations require members to have an energy settlement system in place by 2020 and a data collection system on the ground by 2022. It costs nothing to become a partner with Eress.
There remain many significant challenges as railway technology moves into the 21st century. However, the standardisation of international railways and updating data collection and settlement systems paves the way into the future. Ultimately, it is time for a significant improvement in efficiency, profitability and compliance for train operators and infrastructure managers across all member states.
The German rail industry and associations have published a charter outlining their commitment to working to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
Mack Brooks Exhibitions has announced the postponement of Infrarail, the UK’s leading showcase of railway infrastructure.
Demand for rail freight services are increasing during the coronavirus pandemic as the reliable, safe delivery of key supplies is paramount.
TMH subsidiary Metrowagonmash has won a contract option with Sofia Metro for the refurbishment of 40 metro cars, type 81-717.4/714.4.
Allianz pro Schiene says the rail industry is providing stability during the coronavirus pandemic, both in the passenger and freight sectors.
Network Rail is continuing to conduct vital repair works during the coronavirus pandemic to ensure that goods and key workers keep moving.
Critical Communications World 2020 has been rescheduled to 3rd – 5th November due to the current circumstances around COVID-19.
Network Rail has chosen Siemens and Atkins to help deliver the East Coast Digital Railway programme between London and Peterborough.
Stadler has won one of the biggest delivery contracts ever in Europe with Berlin's BVG. Stadler will deliver up to 1500 metro cars.
California: Metrolink receives in excess of 10 million USD in grant funding from the US Department of Transportation under the CRISI program.
The UK government says it will temporarily supsend franchise agreements and let TOCs run services for a management fee because of Covid-19.
UWC has received an order for 200 hopper cars to transport mineral fertiliser from chemical company TOAZ. It will ship the order by May 2020.
Norwegian rail infrastructure manager Bane NOR cancels competitive bidding for the Kleverud-Sørli project in light of the coronavirus.
CRRC dispatches second batch of 3 DMUs to Angola, folloiwng the dispatch of the first shipment on 10 February. One more is outstanding.
Anu Tuominen on the mobility culture of the future in the context of the European Green Deal, which is to make Europe carbon-neutral by 2050.
As a result of the increasing spread of the coronavirus pandemic, more and more restrictions are being put in place on international travel.
Rail Live! Madrid, which was to be held 31 March – 2 April will now take place on the new dates of 30 November – 2 December 2020.
Government orders in Czech Republic and Slovakia mean there are no more international passenger rail services because of coronavirus.
The European Commission has proposed that 2021 be the European Year of Rail to highlight rail's contribution to achieving the Green Deal.
The budget: some money for rail, a reaffirmation of HS2, the Leeds-Manchester link, but also funding for 4000 miles of new road.
SBB has stopped running EuroCity rail services from Switzerland into Italy. It runs services from Geneva and Zurich to Milan and Venice.
Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn and Stadler have signed a contract for 12 multiple units with a plan to place a further order for 15 multiple units.
Passenger rail services between Austria and Italy have been suspended until further notice as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
The European Union Railway Agency (ERA) has granted type approval for the Stadler SMILE 'Giruno' to operate in double-traction in Italy.
Rail Live! Madrid 2020 is postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak. The organisers are in talks to find new dates later in the year.
ScotRail is the first passenger train company to publish data on its rolling stock types and carriage length through Realtime Trains.
The Port Authority of Rotterdam has awarded the construction contract for the Theemsweg line superstructure to VolkerRail.
We've published our Railway-News Rail Live! Madrid magazine to accompany the show. Read in-depth articles and get information about the event.
The Railway-News Industry Insider for week 10 of 2020: all the important rail news of the week in brief to keep informed on the go.
Passengers travelling by rail between London and mainland Europe create 60,000 flights worth of carbon emissions less than if they flew.
One year on from the launch of Fokus Bahn NRW the results are promising. The state's parties involved in passenger rail are working together.
Alstom, in a consortium, has won a contract to supply rail solutions to modernise and rehabiliate a strech of the Rhine-Danube corridor.
Greater Anglia has opened its new Norwich Village sidings with the first train arriving on 3 March. They are needed to park GA's new fleet.
Stadler has published its annual results for 2019 which demonstrate an 80 percent increase in the number of trains delivered.
By the end of 2020 all DB Cargo freight cars will have composite brakes (quiet brakes) in line with new regulations governing rail noise.
Strasbourg is to get an additional 17 Alstom Citadis trams, which will bring its fleet up to 80, with 63 units already in operation.
Bombardier's Class 710 AVENTRA electric multiple units for London Overground enter service on the Lea Valley Lines into Liverpool Street.
Both the Forth Bridge in Scotland and Britannia Bridge in Wales are celebrating a birthday this week. They are engineering marvels.
The Railway-News Industry Insider for week 9 of 2020: the top rail news stories of the week in brief to keep you informed of the key points.
The making of a successful logistics hub is a central theme at the RailFreight Summit 2020, which takes place in Poznań on 11, 12 and 13 May.
Network Rail is investing £113m on the West Coast Main Line as part of its Railway Upgrade Plan. This includes track renewal.
Deutsche Bahn, the EU and the German government are investing money to electrify the Oldenburg-Wilhelmshaven line and make it double-track.
The UK's operator of last resort (DOLH) has taken over the Northern franchise (1 March) after serious problems with services on the network.
Private rail freight operator Lineas is the latest company to join ERFA, the European Rail Freight Association, headquartered in Brussels.
Deutsche Bahn says it is well prepared for the coronavirus and is in constant exchange with the relevant ministries and authorities.
OEBB will invest 460 million euros in its rail infrastructure in 2020 with the main focus being on the Südstrecke between Vienna and Villach.
ProMedia Group is organising the 5th edition of the Track Access Charges Summit. The event will take place in Riga, the capital of Latvia.
Rail Baltica Estonia has appointed Tõnu Grünberg as its CEO, effective 1 March. He is tasked with accelerating the project.
The UK government has announced £20m in funding to improve accessibility in stations through measures such as lifts and accessible toilets.
The first Alstom Coradia iLint hydrogen train has arrived in the Netherlands and will undergo night-time testing over the next 2 weeks.
The EC has found that CFR Marfa has been in receipt of inappropriate state aid from Romania, which Romania must now recover within 6 months.
Neulengbach Station will see a total investment of 7.1 million euros to make it more modern and accessible, helping passengers choose rail.
The Sggrs80 articulated flat cars UWC is manufacturing for Deutsche Bahn have successfully passed their standard gauge track testing.
The Department for Transport will invest 2.5 million GBP in CrossCountry Trains in a measure designed to alleviate overcrowding.
After having submitted the detailed planning application for its train manufacturing site in Goole, Siemens has released CGIs of the site.
DB's supervisory board has extended Martin Seiler's contract until December 2025. Due to end in 2020, it will now run for a further 5 years.
The German state of NRW has pledged an investment of ten million euros to equip a third of its stations with video technology by 2024.
The Railway-News Industry Insider for week 8 of 2020: all the week's news in brief to keep you up to date at a glance.
SBB's fleet of ICN Intercity Tilting Trains are to undergo a full refurbishment now that they have reached the middle of their life-cycle.
The BAV has given the go-ahead for testing in the Ceneri Base Tunnel from mid-February. It will carry passengers from December.
DB Regio Mitte is modernising 54 Bombardier Twindexx double-decker trains as part of its contract to operate the Frankfurt-Limburg route.
The Consumer Choice Center has published its European Railway Station Index 2020, revealing the best stations for passenger experience.
Following rumours, Alstom and Bombardier have now announced they have signed an MoU for Alstom's acqusition of Bombardier Transportation.
Alstom has won a contract with Deutsche Bahn to equip 19 ICE 1 trains with its ETCS solution. It will complete the works by September 2021.
The Railway-News Industry Insider for week 7 2020: our weekly quick read of all the important rail news so you can stay up to date on the go.
Alstom has responded to the rumours that it is in talks with Bombardier about a potential acquisition of Bombardier Transportation.
The government of Panama has given the green light for the line 2 extension of the city's metro network, which will connect to the airport.
The VBB has awarded a contract to Siemens Mobility for 18 three-car Mireo electric multiple units, which will enter service in 2022.
A Stadler train in Groningen equipped with ATO has carried passengers for the first time. This is phase 2 or a 3-phase process.
Alstom has delivered its 130th Citadis tram to Bordeaux. The city ordered these trams in four tranches starting in 2000.
The UK PM gave the go-ahead for HS2 in parliament today. This decision has been welcomed by industry in general, including the rail sector.
The UK government will today give HS2 the go-ahead following a review into the high-speed rail project due to concerns about its cost.
CAF has won contracts in Norway and with the Helsinki Metro operator. The former is a 9-year maintenance contract for the Bergen Line trains.
The Railway-News Industry Insider week 6 2020: our quick read of all the important rail stories from the last week to keep you up to date.
Danish State Railways has ordered 8 Talgo 230 trainsets from the Spanish manufacturer. Talgo is manufacturing the same for DB, branded ECx.
Network Rail has awarded several CP6 signalling frameworks. They went to Alstom, Siemens, and a JV between Hitachi and Limbrooke Services.
DB Engineering & Consulting and Ukrainian Railways have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to modernise operations and rail services.
The EBRD has agreed to two loans for public transport in Sarajevo. 20 million euros wil go towards new tram tracks in the city.
Alstom has won a contract with transport authorites in Leipzig for the design, manufacture and maintenance of 11 Coradia Continental BEMUs.
DB will put the first Stadler KISS double-decker trains into service (IC2) on 8 March. It purchased them from Westbahn (Austria) last year.
Phase 2 of the East West Rail project in the UK has been given the green light. It is part of the rail link between Oxford and Cambridge.
Starting in April passengers will be able to enjoy direct Eurostar services between Amsterdam and London without passport checks in Brussels.
The Railway-News Industry Insider week 5 2020: all the latest rail news of the week, condensed in a quick read so you can stay up to date.
Deutsche Bahn is halting the acceptance of the remaining 25 IC2 trains from its order with Bombardier following grave operating problems.
Hitachi Rail has commissioned phase 1 of Taipei Metro's new Circular Line in Taiwan. The current line also features Hitachi rolling stock.
Saudi Railway Company discussed Saudi Arabia’s competitiveness in logistic services, and important transportation and infrastructure projects.
Skoda has signed a contract to deliver up to 45 metro trains for the Warsaw Metro, after it won the bid in October 2019.
DB will make a 12.2 billion euro infrastructure investment in 2020, improving tracks, bridges, signalling equipment and stations.
Talgo has gifted a 250km/h coach to Chesterfield Borough Council in the lead-up to a framework agreement between the two parties in February.
Bombardier's subway cars in New York City have been returned to passenger service following two isolated incidents with the door mechanisms.
The final New Generation Rollingstock train manufactured by Bombardier has entered service in Queensland 2 years after the first.
The Saudi Railway Company (SAR), in cooperation with the Ministry of Transport, is racing to prepare for the 2020 Railway Forum.
The Railway-News Industry Insider week 4 2020: all the big rail news for 20–24 January. DB buys hybrid locomotives from Toshiba and more.
Spain is the latest partner to join Eress, the European Partnership for Railway Energy Settlement Systems.
Siemens Mobility and Tisséo have doubled capacity on Line A of Toulouse metro by lengthening the rolling stock from 2 to 4 cars per train.
DB Cargo is purchasing 50 Toshiba hybrid locomotives to reduce its carbon footprint. They will save 1 million litres of diesel per year.
Premier Mark McGowan and Transport Minister Rita Saffioti unveiled the design of the new Australind railcar at Bunbury station.
On April 1 – 3, 2020, the International Railway Forum and Conference IRFC 2020 will be held in Prague, Czech Republic for the seventh time.
CZ Loko is continuing is modernisation works to upgrade the old GE Transportation C30 locomotives into C30-M units for Estonia.
Deutsche Bahn will feed solar power directly into its traction power network with a new solar park measuring 70 football pitches in size.
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