What the listening forum is

The “Listening Forum for gathering requests for the improvement, efficiency and development of infrastructure” is the forum for continuous discussion between RFI, the General Directorate for Transport and Railway Infrastructures of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport and the stakeholders (licensed railway companies, Regions and Autonomous Provinces, Framework Agreement Holders), with a view to making decisions on the start-up of investments more efficient and plan their respective activities in a mutually supportive manner. The Listening Forum, set out in section 2.6 (former 3.8) of the NS - Network Statement, was set up in accordance with the provisions of Rail Service Regulation Office (URSF) Decision no. 400/5 of 2013 and Italian Transport Authority (ART) Resolution no. 140/2017.

RFI ensures the Listening Forum is launched by 30 April each year. Within 30 days of the start of the Listening Forum, the stakeholders involved (the "Applicants") send RFI their requests, supported by a documentary analysis on the actual advantages of the proposed measures, their economic viability (costs/benefits) and the qualitative improvements of the infrastructure concerned.

RFI checks the technical feasibility of the proposals received in order to consider, together with the Ministry of Infrastructure and Sustainable Mobility, including them in the Programme Contract, and informs each Applicant of the outcome of such assessments, stating the reasons for the decision.

In accordance with Italian Transport Authority Resolution no. 151 of 21 November 2019, RFI will publish the final report on the process of analysing and evaluating the proposals put forward by the interested parties, together with the contributions made, by 30 January of the following year, making the documentation available for the following 5 years.

In addition, as provided for in paragraph 2.6 (formerly 3.8) of the Network Statement, on the occasion of the calling of the Listening Forum, RFI publishes the documentation relating to the equipped areas available and the service systems with provision for disposal/conversion which can be consulted to the page "Equipped Areas". RFI will take into consideration the requests made by the participants in the technical table also with respect to the aforementioned documentation.

The 2020 Listening Forum - 3rd edition

In 2020, in view of the restrictive measures in force for the national health crisis, the plenary meeting of the listening forum to be held by 30 April did not take place. However, RFI invited Stakeholders to submit their requests for the improvement, efficiency and development of the infrastructure by filling in a specific form.

At the 3rd edition of the Listening Forum, 156 proposals were received from 19 Stakeholders. RFI then analysed them, classifying them according to the type of request, with each one given an initial assessment as follows:

  • Not acceptable:  Requests not accepted due to regulatory/technical constraints, out of context or because formulated in a generic manner.

  • Subject to in-depth examination: requests found to be worthy of in-depth technical examination currently being undertaken by RFI. If such requests are accepted, they may be included in the national railway infrastructure development and efficiency plans.

  • Already planned: requests for interventions already planned by the Infrastructure Manager.

The first assessment resulted in 91 requests to be further investigated, 41 requests already planned and 24 that could not be implemented.

RFI met all the stakeholders who had submitted the proposals individually to inform them of the outcome of the assessments and to request the additional information necessary to continue the subsequent in-depth studies.

Since 29 January 2021, the final report of the 2020 Listening Forum has been online on RFI's corporate website, with information on the relevant documentation.

The 2019 Listening Forum - 2nd edition

At the 2nd edition of the Listening Forum - which took place on 14 May 2019 - 344 proposals were received from 18 stakeholders. RFI then analysed them, classifying them according to the type of request, with each one given an initial assessment as follows:
 

  • Not acceptable:  Requests not accepted due to regulatory/technical constraints, out of context or because formulated in a generic manner.
     
  • Subject to in-depth examination: requests found to be worthy of in-depth technical examination currently being undertaken by RFI. If such requests are accepted, they may be included in the national railway infrastructure development and efficiency plans.
     
  • Already planned: requests for interventions already planned by the Infrastructure Manager.

From the first assessment, there were 223 requests to undergo in-depth examination, 90 already planned requests and 31 requests that could not be implemented.
 

RFI met all the stakeholders who had submitted the requests individually to inform them of the outcome of the assessment and to request the additional information necessary to continue the subsequent in-depth studies.
 

Since 1 April 2020, the final report of the 2019 Listening Forum has been online on RFI's corporate website, with information on the relevant documentation.