The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has approved the tariffs and conditions that Dutch railway infrastructure manager ProRail and other companies use for the use of service facilities for the train service between the eastern Dutch cities of Amersfoort and Ede-Wageningen (this particular service is called the ‘Valleilijn’ in Dutch, literally ‘Valley Line’).
Service facilities are facilities that are located near or adjacent to the railways, and that are highly relevant to the provision of a rail transport service. Examples of service facilities are train station facilities and washing facilities. The other market participants involved are Connexxion, Dutch Railways NS (NS Stations and NS Reizigers, which is the rail passenger division), and rail construction company Strukton/VIVENS. The concessionary period starts in December 2021 and ends in December 2036. The tender process will be launched soon.
Why does ACM assess these requests?
Under Section 68C of the Dutch Railway Act, ProRail and the other companies involved are required to submit their offers to ACM for approval prior to any tender process (this is also referred to as ex-ante approval). By doing so, ACM ensures a level playing field for all railway companies at the start of each tender process.
ACM only approves the charges and conditions that apply within the concessionary area before the start of the tender process for the concession in question. If the charges and conditions change at some point in the future, ACM may assess, either of its own accord or prompted by a complaint, whether the charges and conditions meet the statutory requirements. In the case at hand, ACM has handed down five approval decisions for the provision of service facilities that are relevant to the tender process concerning the Valleilijn.
More in this case
13-01-2020 Appoval of tariffs and conditions for Valleilijn service facilities (in Dutch)