Railway tracks close to Utrecht Centraal station, source: ProRail

Webinar: an introduction to Track Access Charges

As a result of the Fourth Railway Package, which aims to create a single European railway area, the European Commission changed regulations in 2012 concerning the railway user charges. An Implementing Regulation (EU 2015/909) formulated more detailed rules in 2015 on how these costs should be calculated. During a webinar on 21 April, various experts update you on the developments of the user fees since then.

New regulations for the user fee were needed in 2012. As a result of the Fourth Railway Package, European countries were bound to separate the charges for rail management and rail transport. This was implemented in different ways. For example, in the Netherlands, a strict separation was in place since the 1990s. In some other countries, such as France and Germany, the separation was realised within the holding company.

Implementing Regulation

As a result of the Implementing Regulation (EU 2015/909), various European countries have given further interpretation of European regulations in recent years. For example, the Dutch government applied new rules in early 2018 that have made it possible for infra manager ProRail to apply price incentives in the calculation of rail tariffs since 2019. An additional levy per market segment made it legally possible for user charges to be reduced for freight transport, following the intended reduction in Germany.

European rules allow infrastructure managers to apply certain price incentives. For example, to encourage carriers to use train equipment that causes less damage to the railway infrastructure or produces less noise pollution. They can also encourage companies to drive more punctually and make better use of train paths.

Despite the fact that in 2015 the Implementing Regulation clarified how the rules could be applied, the rules still offered too much room for a different interpretation. This becomes clear when looking at the way in which user charges are applied per European country.

Webinar

On Tuesday 21 April, various experts will provide an update you on the history of railway user fees, the national implementation of European regulations in various European countries and steps to be taken. The webinar takes place between 11 am and 12 pm CET.

The following speakers will be called in via a live connection:

  • Stefan Marschnig, researcher at TU Graz
  • Ivan Vidovic, researcher at TU Graz
  • Justina Hudenko, CEO LatRailNet

The webinar is hosted by Marieke van Gompel, editor-in-chief of ProMedia Group.

Topics to be discussed:

  • How did the user charges for rail come about in Europe?
  • Why was European regulation necessary?
  • What does the role of the supervisors look like?
  • How far are various European countries with the implementation of these regulations and what are the differences?
  • What improvements are still needed?
  • How can user fees stimulate competition?
  • How have Eastern European countries applied these user fees?

You can register for the webinar by using the link below.

Register for the Webinar

Author: Majorie van Leijen

Majorie van Leijen is editor of RailTech.com and RailFreight.com, online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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