BNetzA approves train-path prices for 2019
The competent ruling chamber approved the train-path prices for the schedule year 2018/2019 on January 17, 2018, including the proposed 1.8% increase of train-path prices in regional rail passenger transport. This follows from the statutory linking of the train-path price development to the growth rate of the regionalization funds. As set forth in the resolution to the 2018 train-path pricing system (TPS), the proposed train-path prices in long-distance rail passenger transport were increased as part of the approval and lowered in the rail freight transport by about € 28 million, respectively. DB Netz AG has appealed against this decision. The earliest an initial decision can be expected is the end of 2019.
BNetzA sets maximum limits on total costs for the working timetable period of 2019/2020
As part of regulating the incentivization of train-path prices, the BNetzA set the maximum limits for total costs of DB Netz AG and DB RegioNetz Infrastruktur GmbH for the working timetable period of 2019/2020 in a decision of August 13, 2018. The BNetzA granted recognition of the LuFV II on its first submission as a so-called qualified regulatory agreement. The minimum maintenance expenses specified there was included as a placeholder, as the actual relevant LuFV III is not yet available.
Incentive system not approved by the BNetzA
On August 31, 2018, the BNetzA did not approve the incentive system that DB Netz AG submitted as part of the rail network terms of usage (Schienennetz-Benutzungsbedingungen; SNB). The further development of the incentive system between the TOCs and DB Netz AG was originally intended to be introduced as part of the timetable change in December 2018. In comparison to the previous regulations, significantly higher payments would be levied for delays caused by construction sites, among other issues. However, an agreement regarding all the significant points of the incentive system in passenger transport was successfully reached as part of a market dialog on November 19, 2018. The changes to the SNB regarding the incentive system for rail passenger transport are still expected to come into effect in spring 2019 following the completion of the approval process by the BNetzA. In freight transport, no agreement has yet been reached. DB Netz AG has planned four customer events for 2019, in order to reach a collective agreement regarding the incentive system in rail freight transport to be introduced in December 2019.
Action plan for customer-friendly construction
In early June 2018, rail transport companies and associations submitted their “Round Table for Building Site Management” findings report to BMVI. The aim was to develop an action plan for more transport, improved quality and reliability in order to minimize the adverse effects on passengers and cargo customers wherever possible during the urgently needed modernization of the rail network. Specifically, the Construction Work Management Round Table recommended a total package comprising four key components: agreements between the Federal Government and DB Netz AGon customer-oriented construction, an incentive system between DB Netz AG and TOCs, improved risk distribution between public transport authorities and TOCs, and the optimization of construction processes and communication.