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Clarity in advance for rail undertakings in regional rail tender processes

The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has approved the conditions and fees that operators of rail services wish to apply in regional rail tender processes. This concerns the conditions and fees for rail-related services that are necessary for passenger train operations, such as employee break rooms and train cleaning systems.

In 2017, two regional rail concessions will be put out to tender: the train services in the northern part of the Netherlands, and the so-called Merwede-Linge line. Four operators offer services on these lines: ProRail, Vivens, Arriva and Dutch Railways NS (which includes passenger rail undertaking NS Reizigers, maintenance firm NedTrain, and train station manager NS Stations). Henk Don, Member of the Board of ACM, explains: ‘Providing transparent information in advance will help prevent problems afterwards. If passenger rail undertakings wish to submit a competitive bid for a regional concession, they will have to know under what conditions and at what prices they are able to take out certain services.’

About the approval

This marks the first time that operators have submitted their conditions and fees to ACM prior to the tender process. In 2016, ACM was granted statutory powers for such approval. In the assessment, ACM examined whether the access conditions resulted in equal treatment of rail undertakings, and whether or not too much costs are charged.