Price regulation in the railway sector
Infrastructure access charges compensate for the use of tracks and other railway infrastructure facilities by various railway undertakings. The focus of price regulation is hence not on fares but on the charges payable by passenger and freight transport undertakings for access to tracks, stations and other facilities.
With price regulation in the railway sector the Bundesnetzagentur aims first and foremost at strengthening competitiveness in the rail transport segment. Even if access to the rail network is provided, discriminatory or abusive charges may pose an obstacle for access beneficiaries and their usage requests. To avoid discrimination and abuse, the legislator has defined specific requirements for price determination in the General Railway Act (AEG) and the Rail Infrastructure Usage Regulations (EIBV). Regulatory decisions on price regulation hence affect overall market conditions.
Access beneficiaries trust that access charges do not comprise discriminatory elements and that their level is based on the relevant laws. In case of questions or complaints they can contact the Bundesnetzagentur. As competent adviser the Bundesnetzagentur is also prepared to support infrastructure managers or operators of service facilities with their charging schemes.
Track access charges
The access charges for train movements on the rail network and associated services are set out in the infrastructure managers’ list of track access charges which also provides details of the charges for any supplementary and ancillary services available in connection with the use of the tracks.
The facts and details you need to know as infrastructure manager (tracks) and any aspects which may also be of interest to track users may be found here.
Service facility charges
Railway infrastructure consists not only of tracks but also of other facilities needed for the operation of trains. The charges payable for these service facilities are also subject to price regulation. These facilities cover passenger stations and several other passenger and freight transport installations (see service facilities).
The requirements imposed on service facility operators differ from those applicable to infrastructure managers. In view of different effects on competition, railway legislation even specifies different requirements for different service facilities. For additional information please see charges/service facilities.
Leading decisions taken by the Bundesnetzagentur on railway price regulation and information on important procedures may be found here.
Date of modification: 2012.02.03