Ser­vice fa­cil­i­ties

Whoever wishes to provide railway services needs access to tracks and other rail infrastructure and services. Railway undertakings (RUs) usually need one or more service facilities before and after each train movement..

Service facilities

In terms of Section 2(3c) of the General Railway Act (AEG) service facilities are
• refuelling facilities passenger railway stations
• freight train stations and terminals
• marshalling yards
• train formation facilities
• storage sidings
• maintenance facilities and other technical facilities
• ports (port railway).

Freight train stations/terminals/ports

The "conventional" freight train station has become rare in Germany. Nowadays, reference is usually made to "terminals" when the infrastructure is used for loading, unloading or transhipping goods. In the terminals and ports, the carrier rail encounters other modes of transport, especially road, inland waterway and sea. These interfaces in the logistics chain are critical points and the processes at these points are often rather complex. The Bundesnetzagentur takes particular care to ensure transparent and non-discriminatory access and terms of use.

Passenger railway stations

In rail passenger transport, the entities entitled to access (RUs or regional transport authorities) come to an agreement with the IM’s on the required train paths. The stops envisaged must be agreed with the operators of the passenger railway stations. Passenger stations fulfil an important function with regard to the success of a passenger transport service since passengers closely relate the reliability and attraction of rail transport with the quality of the services provided at a passenger railway station. The Bundesnetzagentur therefore makes sure that entities entitled to access obtain appropriate and non-discriminatory access.

Marshalling yards/train formation facilities/storage siding

A train usually consists of a tractive vehicle (locomotive or railcar) and several wagons. Different types of transport call for different train formations. In marshalling yards and other train formation facilities trains are formed, sorted and split. Storage sidings are needed for storing trains or individual vehicles before or after a journey. The time spent at a storage siding may be short or long.
The infrastructure described is used both by the freight and the passenger transport sector.
The Bundesnetzagentur has closely investigated the terms and barriers to access at marshalling yards and other train formation facilities and drawn up a position paper (German) following in-depth consultation of the market.

Maintenance facilities / other service facilities

Maintenance facilities are of prime importance to safe rail transport. Non-discriminatory access to this infrastructure and associated services can hence be fundamental to railway undertakings. The Bundesnetzagentur has held intensive discussions with the market players about regulating access to service facilities and has formulated guidance to help infrastructure managers with controversial issues such as the compilation of the statements for service facilities.

Among the other technical facilities to which non-discriminatory access must be granted are cleaning areas for passenger cars or tank wagons. Refuelling facilities, ie diesel filling stations, are indispensable for all those railway undertakings with vehicles not powered by electric traction.

Checklist for the Statements for service facilities (German)

The Section "Access to Service Facilities and Services" makes sure that all entities entitled to access obtain non-discriminatory access to these service facilities and associated services (eg loading and unloading of freight wagons, maintenance of rail vehicles). Several hundred infrastructure managers (IMs) are subject to regulation.

Statements for service facilities

Infrastructure managers (IMs) must establish and publish statements for service facilities for the service facilities operated by them.
The statements must be kept up to date. When a statement is to be revised or changed, certain legally prescribed deadlines and procedures must be adhered to. Projected revisions or changes must be notified to the Bundesnetzagentur which will review them within one month using a procedure set out in Section 14e AEG.

The publication of statements for service facilities is essential to non-discriminatory access to rail infrastructure. Not only do the statements shed light on the legal, economic, technical and on any other terms of use (information role), they also often help to identify unequal treatment (control or comparison function). Since publication of statements for service facilities an IM is bound to it for the statement’s period of validity (usually at least a year). The statements also provide entities entitled to access with the necessary planning security.
The review and monitoring of the statements is hence a key module of rail infrastructure regulation.

How to establish a service facilities statement

Date of modification: 2014.02.03