Stefan Marschnig University of Technology Graz

Learn how Track Access Charges can reduce the costs of railway operations.

Stefan Marschnig
Graz University of Technology

The latest EU directives and implementing regulations for Track Access Charges (TAC) aim to reduce the costs of railway operations and to harmonize TAC’s throughout Europe. The use of track-friendly rolling stock is stimulated through lower TAC’s which result in lower overall transport costs essential to competing with other transport modalities. At the TAC Summit 2016 in Bern you will learn about the new directives using the SBB Swiss Wear Factor as real-life example. Expert speakers from companies including DB, OBB and Bombardier will present their views and solutions. You will meet other TAC professionals and will be able to share your experience at this high-level conference.

The recast of the first railway package (directive 2012/34) and the attached implementing regulation (2015/909) came up with new rules for setting track access charges (TACs).


The strict separation between direct costs and mark-ups is specifically addressed. This may lead to a harmonization of TACs throughout Europe, as the direct costs of a train run (wear and tear based costs) shouldn’t differ significantly from infrastructure manager to infrastructure manager. Furthermore, the implementing regulation gives room for many more detailed, vehicle based charges.

Reviewing of track access charges

Alongside the possibility of focusing on damage processes in the interaction of vehicle and track, this could be used for incentivising track-friendly vehicle technologies which could lead to lower overall system costs and, therefore, improved competition within the transport mode railway.

Setting mark-ups should be seen in the context of both the competitiveness of the railway transport services in the inter-modal competition, and of the infrastructure manager’s financial situation. Public infrastructure funding plays a major role, and could change the question of ‘what the market can bear’ to ‘what the market has to bear’. The regulator’s position has changed substantially in favour of the new regulation when it comes to TACs. The detailed reviewing of track access charges could help to increase transparency, and might also lead to fewer complaints in the future.

Industry leadership

At the TAC Summit 2016 industry leaders will discuss TACs in great detail, and will highlight the different points of views of infrastructure managers, railway undertakings, and vehicle producers. As previous Track Access Charges conferences in 2011 and 2013 have shown, it is worth making the effort to debate this topic at a European, system-wide level.

I am looking forward to seeing you in Bern.

Stefan Marschnig, Assistant Professor – Graz University of Technology

Conference Programme

The Track Access Charges Summit offers a unique podium to discuss best practices, latest regulations, cost calculation methods and to share experience related to Track Access Charges.

Graz University of Technology has carefully created the following programme:

Chairman of the day: Stefan Marschnig, Assistant Professor – Graz University of Technology

Session 1: Wear based vehicle charging

This session will answer the following questions:

  • How will Switzerland change TAC’s in 2017?
  • Why should track asset managers support wear-based, vehicle-specific charges?
  • How can asset managers use knowledge of track deterioration models for their daily business?
  • CHStefan Sommer, Head of Track – SBB
    Welcome and introduction
  • ATKeynote: Stefan Marschnig, Assistent Professor – Graz University of Technology
    Costs directly incurred by a train run
  • CHMarkus Giger, Head of Section – Federal Office of Transport, Section Rail Network
    The new Track Access Charging scheme in Switzerland
    Read abstract
  • CHJochen Holzfeind, Head of Asset Management Track – SBB
    Wear factor – From the railway track’s point of view
    Read abstract

Session 2: Wear based vehicle charging

This session will answer the following questions:

  • How will the wear factor influence future vehicle concepts?
  • How will the wear-factor support train operating companies to purchase track-friendly vehicles?
  • Why do we need an integral methodology for assessing the cost impact of innovative vehicle technology? What part do TACs play in such a methodology?
  • CHStephan Schenk, Head of Contracts & Train Path Sales – SBB
    Wear factor – How to charge it
    Read abstract
  • CHRichard Schneider, Vice President R&D- Bombardier Transportation
    Wear factor – From the vehicle’s producer’s point
    Read abstract
  • ATAlfred Pitnik, Head of International Affairs – Rail Cargo Group
    Wear factor – From the railway undertakers point of view
    Read abstract
  • ESJuan Melendez, Director of Transport and Energy Division, CEIT
    ROLL2RAIL Running Gear – Opportunities for reduction of the railway system costs
    Read abstract

Session 3: Assessing direct costs

This session will answer the following questions:

  • What is the basic idea of direct cost / marginal cost based charging? Why there is discussion all over Europe on what cost positions might be included in the direct costs?
  • How were direct cost evaluated in France?
  • Between direct and full cost: how much money does the infrastructure manager need?
  • BEFrank Jost, Policy Officer – European Commission
    The direct costs of infrastructure use
    Read abstract
  • FRMiguel Amaral, Head of Regulation of Rail Infrastructure Managers Unit – French Railway Regulatory Body (ARAF)
    Direct cost calculation in France
    Read abstract
  • LVJustina Hudenko, CFO – LatRailNet
    How much money is needed?
    Read abstract

Session 4: Establishing mark-ups – sharing experiences

This session will answer the following questions:

  • If mark-ups are needed – how should they be calculated?
  • How did DB Netz established mark-ups for different market segments?
  • Will TACs be harmonised and transparent in 2019 or – still – disperse and irreproducible throughout the European Union?
  • GBChris Nash, Research Professor – University of Leeds
    Setting economically efficient mark-ups
    Read abstract
  • DEWolfram Merzyn, Senior Project Manager train path pricing system – DB Netz AG
    Establishing mark-ups requested
    Read abstract
  • BEStefan Tobias, Senior Economist  – Community of European Railways (CER)
    Do we need transparency and harmonisation of TAC?
    Read abstract
  • ATStefan Marschnig, Assistent Professor – Graz University of Technology
    Summary and Outlook

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