Skip to main content
Mobility and Transport

Infrastructure charges

Modalities to calculate direct costs

Infrastructure managers have to set the charges using the infrastructure at the costs directly incurred by the train service. Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/909 on the modalities to calculate direct costs provides details on how infrastructure managers should calculate their direct costs. The regulation provides cost categories that are not eligible. In particular, when infrastructure managers received funds they do not have to pay back, they are not allowed to include any costs derived from such payments into their infrastructure charges. Average direct unit costs can be modulated on the basis of vehicle, operational and infrastructure parameters. Traffic diversions at the instigation of the infrastructure manager should not increase charges. Alternatively to calculating average unit costs and modulating them, infrastructure managers may use cost modelling in accordance with best available international practice. Regulatory body may determine and apply a simplified control of direct costs if their values remain below certain thresholds.

Judgements of the European Court of Justice on the calculation of costs directly incurred by the train service

The European Court of Justice issued a series of decisions concerning the compliance of different calculation methods of the costs directly incurred as a result of operating the train service with Article 7(3) of Directive 2001/14/EC on the allocation of railway infrastructure capacity and the levying of charges for the use of railway infrastructure. Since Article 31(3) of Directive 2012/34/EU on a single European railway area contains a similar provision, these decisions are also relevant for the application of this more recent provision.

The Court of Justice, in its Decision European Commission vs Poland , has determined that cost elements that include fixed costs relating to the provision of a stretch of line on the rail network which the manager must bear even in the absence of train movements must be considered to be only partially directly incurred as a result of operating the train service. It also found that financial costs do not have a direct link with the train service. Furthermore, the Court determined that, not on the basis of the actual wear and tear of infrastructure attributable to traffic, but merely with reference to accounting rules, depreciation of infrastructure cannot not be viewed as being directly incurred as a result of operating the train service.

Furthermore the Court found, in the case of one infrastructure manager, that costs of operations stemming from personnel including contributions to social security as this infrastructure manager had calculated them do not have a direct link with train operations (Decision of the Court of 13 February 2014 ).

Workshop about Performance Schemes

The Commission organised on 4 April 2008 a Workshop about Performance Schemes which attracted about 55 stakeholders from ministries, regulators, railway infrastructure managers and railway undertakings from different EU Member States. The workshop also dealt with reservation charges and possession charges, all of which constitute possible elements of a track access charging scheme.


Introduction DG TREN

Part I Performance Schemes: EIM , RFI , UK ORR , VDV , DB Netz AG

Part II Reservation charges: ITS , UK ORR , Hungarian Rail Office

Part III Possession charges: UK ORR


More than 60 stakeholders participated in the RAILCALC stakeholder workshop in Brussels on 15 February 2008. Results of the RAILCALC project were presented on the basis of a discussion paper , followed by a series of presentations (see below), among others on the projects GRACE and IMPRINT-NET .


CENIT , CER , EIM , ITS , ORR , Rothengatter , TIS.PT