Track Access Charges (TACs) are the price that Railway Undertakings (RUs) have to pay to the Infrastructure Manager (IM) to be allowed to run their train on the network. The calculation is quite complex and IMs can only charge costs that are directly incurred as a result of operating the train service. In addition to some provisions in the Single European Railway Area Directive, a specific regulatory framework on Track Access Charges has been developed in the Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/909 of 12 June 2015 on the modalities for the calculation of the cost that is directly incurred as a result of operating the train service.
EIM in action
- Due to the impact on its members, EIM closely follows the topic.
- EIM monitored the discussions on a potential exemption of TACs for Combined Transport as proposed by some Members of the European Parliament (MEPs);
- EIM participated in the subgroup on ‘Track Access Charges’ of the ‘Platform of Rail Infrastructure Managers in Europe’ (PRIME);
- EIM will continue assisting its members with questions and legal analyses regarding any potential re-evaluation of TACs
Facts & context
Public procurement refers to the process by which public authorities, such as government departments or local authorities, purchase works, goods or services from companies. Public procurement plays an important role for the railway sector and especially for Infrastructure Managers (IMs) since they usually manage large and costly projects which need to be procured under national and EU law. The new legal framework on public procurement sets the “Most Economically Advantageous Tender” (MEAT) as a principle guiding the contract awards’ criteria, enabling the contracting authority to take account of criteria that reflect qualitative, technical and sustainable aspects of the tender submission – as well as the price.
EIM in action
- EIM advocates a public procurement system which takes into consideration not only the price but also criteria related to life-cycle costing, innovation, sustainability and social corporate responsibility.
- EIM has played an active role in the consultation regarding the MEAT principles and published guidelines on this topic in cooperation with CER (railways) and UNIFE (manufacturers);
- EIM cooperated with the European Commission and other stakeholders to support its members in sharing best practices in public procurement.
- EIM will participate in the future meetings of the EC Expert group on the ‘Competitiveness of the European Rail Supply Industry’ (RSI).
The European Commission has set up a Rail Market Monitoring Scheme (RMMS) in order to meet the requirements for monitoring the rail market. The RMMS was implemented in 2015 with Regulation (EU) 2015/1100 on the reporting obligations of the Member States in the framework of rail market monitoring, which establishes the content and data to be submitted to the European Commission. Infrastructure Managers (IMs) provide all relevant data and information requested. The RMMS report is published every second year and provides an overview of the European rail market.
EIM in action
- EIM follows the outcome of the Single European Railway Area Committees (SERAC) meetings dealing with the topic;
- EIM advocates avoiding additional reporting obligations or double reporting for IMs which may create an additional administrative burden;
- EIM also supports limiting the reporting of information that can be accessed from other sources.
- EIM has been participating in the RMMS Working Group of the European Commission to discuss the draft implementing act on reporting obligations of the Member States;
- In March 2019, the RMMS WG has discussed the output of the most recent data collection exercise;
- In 2019, the European Commission published its 6th RMMS Report.
- In 2020, the European Commission will take first steps to change the current legislative framework for the RMMS. EIM will provide input where possible.