Prior to its launch last December, Westbahn had planned to provide real-time onboard passenger information about connecting trains, but ÖBB Infrastructure refused to supply any data on other operators. Westbahn subsequently filed a complaint with Austria's rail regulator, the Rail Control Commission (SCK), which referred the case to the European Court of Justice for a preliminary ruling with reference to European Directive 2001/14 (allocation of railway infrastructure capacity) and 1371/ 2007 (passenger rights).
ÖBB Infrastructure argued that it provided all the data it was legally obliged to offer Westbahn, and that the company should seek separate agreements with the operators concerned if it required more detailed information about their train services.
The SCK sought a preliminary ruling to answer two legal questions. Firstly, it needed to establish whether information on main connecting services, in addition to scheduled departure times, should include delays or cancellations, those affecting the services of other operators. Secondly, the court needed to clarify the position on whether operators needed to make real-time information about their services available to other operators, in so far as those services constitute main connecting services.
The court ruled that the infrastructure manager is obliged to release and provide real-time data on train movements to other operators for the purpose of their own operations, including information on delays and cancellations, to ensure passengers are correctly informed of the traffic situation regardless of operator.
The Court explicitly denied the claim by ÖBB Infrastructure that train information, which is displayed on information panels and screens in stations, is in any way confidential.