Decision on the 2018 train-path pricing system
By the decision of February 6, 2017, the BNetzA approved the fees and fee policies for the new DB Netz AG trainpath pricing system for the 2017/2018 schedule. The decision contained modifications to a few of the fee applications. DB Netz AG on the one hand, and DB Regio AG and DB Fernverkehr AG on the other, brought a lawsuit and requested an interim injunction. In June 2017, all three companies filed a complaint with the Appellate Administrative Court in Münster against the rejection of applications for interim injunctions by the competent Administrative Court in Cologne of May 2017. The Appellate Administrative Court rejected the complaint in December 2017. The disputed issues will be clarified in the principal proceedings.
Review procedure according to new incentive regulation
Under the new incentive regulation framework under the ERegG, the BNetzA must set a price ceiling for train-path usage fees for the first regulatory period (2019 until 2023). In the first process step, the “initial basis of the overall costs” must be approved for this purpose. DB Netz AG had determined this on the basis of the base years 2014 until 2016, until the first year of the regulatory period and submitted for approval to the regulatory authorities in April 2017. By decision of June 28, 2017, the BNetzA set the initial level for the overall costs below the requested value. The reduction is mainly due to reductions in the costs of capital and secondary costs as well as reductions in carryforwards. DB Netz AG has filed an appeal against the decision.
In the next process step, by decision of August 21, 2017, the BNetzA has set the ceiling for the overall costs for the 2019 schedule which the requested train-path usage fees may not exceed. The ceiling is calculated based on the initial level set for the overall costs in 2018, multiplied by the difference between the rate of inflation and the productivity factor. The ceiling for the overall costs in 2019 is provisional and may be revoked..
Follow-on regulation governing equalization payments for level crossings
The equalization payments made by the Federal Government for level crossings offset half of the costs incurred for operating and maintaining the crossings used by both rail and road vehicles. The payments will run until the end of 2017 on the basis of European (EEC) regulation 1192/69, which has been in force since 1969. Following the consolidation of existing EU legislation as part of the fourth railway package, appropriate connection regulations at Federal level will be necessary from 2018.