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.
Alstom will operate its Coradia iLint hydrogen-powered train on the Réseau Charlevoix rail network in Quebec, Canada.
A feasibility project led by Porterbrook and Eminox to to help reduce NOx emissions in enclosed stations has delivered positive results.
Scotland's Transport Minister has opened Inverness Airport rail station, with passenger trains arriving and departing from 3 February.
The Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) and the University of Sheffield are developing an AI tool to predict low adhesion track conditions.
California Governor Newsom has announced more than 2.5 billion USD in funding for 16 ongoing projects to improve passenger rail services.
Alstom has concluded its project of manufacturing 163 DT5 metro vehicles for the Hamburg Metro, operated by Hamburger Hochbahn.
HS2's tunnel boring machines, Florence and Cecilia have passed the halfway point on their 10-mile journey excavating the Chiltern tunnels.
Polregio has signed framework agreements with FPS H.Cegielski, Pesa Bydgoszcz SA, Newag SA and Stadler Polska for up to 200 electric trains.
Book your place now at Rolling Stock Networking, taking place on 6 July 2023, as available stand space is now limited.
Amtrak was joined by President Biden, the US DoT and Maryland officials to execute the Project Kickoff for the B&P Tunnel Replacement.
Metroselskabet has contracted Alstom to deliver mid-life fleet modernisation of the M1 and M2 metro trains in Copenhagen, Denmark.
HS2 Ltd’s contractor, Align JV has installed the last of 292 concrete piles, forming the foundations for the UK’s longest railway bridge.
Network Rail has upgraded Banbury train depot to keep trains moving on the Chiltern main line during HS2 construction.
A new substation in South Yarra has been switched on to provide power for high-capacity trains travelling through the Melbourne Metro Tunnel.
Brightline is testing trains at 110 miles per hour in northern Palm Beach County from Saturday 11 February.
Los Angeles Metro has released a Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the C Line (Green) extension in LA, California.
The inaugural Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) train arrived into Grand Central Madison, Manhattan, on 25 January.
Work has begun on the expansion of the West Midlands Metro depot, which includes extended and updated workshop and maintenance facilities.
Network Rail is upgrading almost three miles of railway tracks to improve the reliability of trains running through Scarborough.
Alstom has unveiled two new trainsets for the Hauts-de-France Region: the Omneo Premium and the Regio 2N equipped with ERTMS.
The first of Transport for Wales’ (TfW) new fleet of trains has been officially launched at a ceremony at Llandudno railway station.
The Eurostar Group, an alliance of Thalys and Eurostar, has marked a new milestone with the unveiling of its new brand.
Progress is being made towards Network Rail’s goal to upgrade the UK railway’s ageing telecoms infrastructure.
Aargau Verkehr has ordered five low-floor ABe 4/8 Saphir II trains for the Wynental and Suhrentalbahn (WSB) railway in Aargau, Switzerland.
Estonian railway operator Eesti Liinirongid (Elron) has taken up the option for a further 10 electric trains from Škoda Group.
Talgo has signed an agreement with LE TRAIN to develop a fleet of high-speed trains based on its Avril platform.
STM has announced that over 565 million CAD is being invested to equip the Montréal Metro with a new train control system.
FS Italiane has announced that new high-speed Trenitalia rail services between Rome and Milan commenced service on 23 January.
The first five-metre-tall V-shaped pier for the Curzon No. 3 Viaduct into HS2's Curzon Street Station in Birmingham has been installed.
National Express Rail has been awarded the contract to operate the German RE1 and RE11 Rhein-Ruhr-Express (RRX) lines up to 2033.
Freight railroad operator, BNSF has released a 3.96bn USD capital investment plan for 2023, which focusses on improving its core network.
The new four-car Moravia trainset has entered trial operation on the S2 line from Brno to Letovice in South Moravia.
Amtrak has received submissions from 10 manufacturers regarding replacement railcars for its overnight routes.
Varamis Rail has collaborated with Network Rail to launch a 'zero-carbon freight service' between Scotland and the Midlands.
New funding has been announced for Network Rail to deliver transformational rail projects in the South West of England.
Metrolinx has announced that tunnelling is now underway on Scarborough’s 7.8-km subway extension in Toronto, Canada.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed to promote and develop high-speed rail projects across North-East Europe.
Stadler has won the contract to supply eight four-car FLIRT3 XL vehicles for use on the Rheingau Express (RE) lines in Germany.
Île-de-France Mobilités has announced that the last of 73 Regio 2N trains to equip line N has arrived at Gare Montparnasse in Paris.
Renfe has commenced on-route testing of its AVE high-speed trains that will operate between Spain and France.
Škoda has received an order for nine sleeping coaches and eight freight wagons for cars from Finnish state railway company VR Group.
Liverpool City Region’s new fleet of publicly-owned trains could enter service as soon as 23 January, the city mayor has announced.
RATP Dev has been awarded a one-year Early Operator Assistance contract for the Belgrade automated metro system.
VR Sweden has renewed a contract with Alstom to provide maintenance for the 30-strong Tåg i Bergslagen’s (Tågab) fleet of regional trains.
Siemens Mobility will supply Indian Railways with 1,200 locomotives, marking the single largest locomotive order in its history.
ÖBB Rail Cargo Group (RCG) has founded a new subsidiary in Belgrade, Serbia to provide sustainable rail freight transport.
Sydney Metro has contracted Hyundai Movex to install mechanical gap fillers at stations for the Sydney Metro City & Southwest project.
Rail Baltic Estonia has awarded the design works of seven regional stations across the counties of Harju and Pärnu to Ardanuy Ingeneria.
Stadler has signed an agreement with DB Netz to retrofit up to 80 maintenance and track service vehicles with its GUARDIA ETCS system.
The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has confirmed the first instalment of its 72 million GBP investment in Coventry Very Light Rail.
CAF has taken ownership of the former BWW Bismarck railway depot in Gelsenkirchen, North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW).
Île-de-France Mobilités has announced plans to update metro line 6’s entire fleet of MP73 trains and update the line's track and platforms.
Major works were completed last month to the Bakerloo line and London Overground between London Euston and Watford Junction.
Alstom has signed a contract to supply 10 three-car Metropolis trains for operation on Line 1 of the Santo Domingo Metro.
Thales has been selected to design, install and commission the Operation Control Centre (OCC) for Line 7 of the Santiago Metro in Chile.
Works on the Bay Line transformation project in Wales are set begin with the construction of a new two-platform Butetown railway station.
A total of 130 metres of double track has been installed along Lower Bull Street as part of the Birmingham Eastside Metro extension project.
Governor Kathy Hochul has announced that New York's Interborough Express service will be constructed as a light rail line.
GB Railfreight (GBRf) has signed a new 10-year locomotive leasing deal with rolling stock leasing company, Akiem.
FEATI University, the Philippines, has set its sights on becoming a leading academic institution in railway engineering and technology.
EMR and the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre are developing a simulation tool to improve depot efficiency.
Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI) has signed an agreement with Hitachi, Mermec, Progress Rail and Alstom to install ERTMS onboard its trains.
Alstom will carry out an overhaul of ScotRail’s Class 334 fleet of 40 trains that operate between Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Brightline has released a video and renderings of the future station at Orlando International Airport in Florida.
Deutsche Bahn (DB) is introducing real-time occupancy information displays on regional routes for the very first time.
Irish Rail has awarded John Sisk and Son the contract for phase 1 works to reinstate the Limerick to Foynes rail line for freight services.
Three international consortiums have qualified for the second stage of the Rail Baltica energy subsystem design and construction procurement.
The West Coast mainline near Carstairs has been reopened for passenger services after emergency engineering works was completed.
Orlando's Right Rail and Universal Orlando Resort have announced plans to open a new SunRail station at the Orange County Convention Center.
The construction tender for the second section of Rail Baltica mainline in Estonia has been announced. Construction is to begin later in 2023.
The Austrian Federal Railways (OEBB) is continuing with its largest ever expansion and investment programme in 2023.
Renfe Mercancías has announced plans to invest 122.7 million EUR into the decarbonisation and digitisation of freight rail in Spain.
Beijing MTR, a subsidiary of MTR Corporation, has announced the opening of Beijing Metro Line 16’s phase III southern section.
Deutsche Bahn (DB) has reached its target volume for biofuel two years ahead of target, hitting 17 million litres of HVO.
Network Rail has completed a series of improvement works for the Transpennine Route Upgrade between Manchester, Huddersfield, Leeds and York.
Egypt National Railways (ENR) has commenced the commercial operation of Talgo Intercity trains between Cairo and Alexandria.
An Alstom consortium has been awarded two new signalling and electrification contracts to support rail modernisation in Romania.
Slovakian rail company ZSSK has ordered a further five RegioPanter electric units from Skoda Group as part of the modernisation of its fleet.
The US DOT has announced nearly 9 billion USD in funding to upgrade and expand passenger rail services along the Northeast Corridor (NEC).
The first RegioPanter trains have commenced service on the newly electrified line from Olomouc to Šumperk via Uničov in the Czech Republic.
LTG Infra has announced a new tender for Rail Baltica construction works in Kėdainiai and Panevėžys, Lithuania.
Deutsche Bahn (DB) has opened its extended vehicle hall at the ICE maintenance plant in Berlin-Rummelsburg.
Progress Rail has been contracted to supply 12 new GT46 locomotives to Qube, an import and export logistics service provider in Australia.
Alstom has completed the extension of the PHX Sky Train automated people mover (APM) system at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.
Brightline has celebrated the ribbon cutting of its Aventura and Boca Raton train stations in Florida, US.
In his final column of the year, Jonn Elledge discusses British and European night trains and uses the phrases 'utter delight' and 'magical'!
VIA Rail Canada has announced the incorporation of VIA HFR to manage the development and delivery of its new High Frequency Rail project.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and King Felipe VI have inaugurated the Madrid-Murcia high-speed railway line.
Transdev is modernising its fleet in Germany with the introduction of 16 four-unit Stadler FLIRT 3 XL articulated trainsets.
Trenitalia’s ‘Blues’ battery hybrid train is the first tri-mode train to enter passenger service in Europe.
Houston METRO has debuted the first of 14 new fourth generation (H4) light rail vehicles (LRV) for use in downtown Houston, Texas.
Construction has begun on Union Station’s new south passenger concourse in Toronto.When completed it will span roughly 325 metres.
The first RER New Generation (NG) 130-metre train has arrived at SNCF’s Technicentre in Villeneuve Saint-George, France.
Renfe has purchased an additional 97 new Cercanías and Media Distancia trains as part of its train fleet renewal plan.
The Parklife Metro consortium has been awarded the third and final major contract for the Sydney Metro — Western Sydney Airport project.
Transport for London (TfL) has contracted Dr. Sauer & Partners and Arup to complete a Bakerloo Line Extension feasibility study.
Dutch transport company, HTM has contracted Stadler to supply 56 TINA trams for use in The Hague, the Netherlands from 2026.
Ontario is investing 139.5 million CAD in three Northlander trainsets as part of its plan to bring back northeastern passenger rail services.
Amtrak has unveiled renders of its newest train, the Amtrak Airo. The new trains will begin operating across Amtrak routes in 2026.
Please fill in the contact form opposite. A member of the team will be in touch shortly.