Positions 02 Feb 2023

Commercial Conditions

Commercial Conditions are financial mechanisms provided for the amendment and cancellation of requested/allocated train paths in order to incentivise a more efficient usage of the available infrastructure. They are provided by the IMs as part of their track access charges and include deadlines as well as fees for the amendment and cancellation of requested/allocated train paths.

Currently there are no clear and Europe wide aligned principles for Commercial Conditions for train path requests. While the European legal basis for Commercial Conditions is Directive 2012/34/EU, Commercial Conditions are treated differently in different Member States. This leads to unbalanced and unsynchronised ordering processes, as well as frequent changes in train path requests, and unnecessary blocking of capacity which ultimately can lead to a waste of capacity.

Optimising the use of existing rail capacity is essential. Commercial conditions should be designed to incentivise capacity-friendly behaviour for all parties and be applied reciprocally to infrastructure managers  and railway undertakings. Infrastructure managers and capacity allocation bodies, in coordination with RailNetEurope (RNE) and in consultation with user and applicant railway undertakings, should develop and implement principles for commercial conditions that are aligned and harmonised Europe wide by a certain date.

Read more in our full position paper below.