On 25 June 2019, the Finnish Rail Regulatory Body issued a decision on the infrastructure charges for electric traffic levied by the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency (FTIA) in the timetable periods 2019 and 2020. In its decision, the Rail Regulatory Body concluded that the charges do not fully meet the requirements laid down in the Finnish Rail Transport Act (1302/2018) and the more detailed provisions of EU legislation.
The decision was issued because VR Group claimed a revised decision on the calculation principles and level of the infrastructure charge levied for electric traffic by FTIA. By its decision, the Rail Regulatory Body reduced the 2019 and 2020 infrastructure charges for electric traffic by an average of 8 per cent. It also referred the determination of the infrastructure charge for 2021 back to FTIA.
FTIA only levies the basic infrastructure charge. According to applicable legislation, the basic charge must be based on the costs directly incurred as a result of operating train service. Therefore, the decision was also purely based on cost criteria, as required by EU legislation. Electric traffic on the railway infrastructure involves costs that are not incurred in diesel traffic. Therefore, a higher basic charge for electric traffic may be justified in that respect. However, FTIA was unable to provide conclusive evidence that would justify the bases for the stand-alone costs of electric traffic in all respects. Remedial measures are needed in both costing and the actual methods of calculation.
“It can be observed that FTIA has been unable to fully assess the extent of development work required by the EU legislation that has become more specific, and it now needs to make sustained efforts to continue this long-term work,” says Juha Karjanlahti, Head of the Rail Regulatory Body.
The Rail Regulatory Body is an independent official body attached to the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom. Its task is to ensure proper functioning of the market and that all parties involved in the sector are treated equally without discrimination. The Rail Regulatory Body is an appellate and supervisory body that is independent of railway operators, infrastructure managers and operators of service facilities, and it settles matters based on appeals submitted to it and on its own initiative.
The full decision is available in Finnish on the Rail Regulatory Body’s website at https://www.saantelyelin.fi/paatokset
Juha Karjanlahti, Head of the Rail Regulatory Body, tel. +358 29 5345 244, juha.karjanlahti(at)traficom.fi
Aleksi Kukkarinen, Special Adviser, tel. +358 29 5345 247, aleksi.kukkarinen(at)traficom.fi