Changes to charges and contractual incentives - Consultations

Consultation on charges recovering fixed network costs

Date published: 28 September 2017
Closing date: 30 November 2017

As part of the 2018 periodic review (PR18) of Network Rail, we are reviewing the way in which the charges operators pay to access the rail network are calculated.

We have decided to prioritise reforms to charges that recover some of the fixed costs of running the rail network, i.e. those costs that do not vary with use in the short term.

In our June 2017 charges and incentives conclusions letter, we confirmed that we would continue to work towards levying charges to recover fixed network costs on all operators, subject to a market-can-bear test.

The purpose of this consultation is to continue progress on developing our approach to levying these charges, which we have called infrastructure cost charges. This approach involves identifying a number of different market segments and then assessing the extent to which each segment can bear infrastructure cost charges. We are setting out emerging proposals on the market segmentation for freight and passenger services, and an initial view on the ability to bear infrastructure cost charge for the freight market segments we have defined, based on technical analysis undertaken by our consultants. We are also setting out proposals around the approach to levying infrastructure cost charges on passenger operators.

Consultation documents

PR18 consultation on charges recovering fixed network costs

Draft impact assessment of units of traffic for levying infrastructure cost charges on open access operators

Draft impact assessment on approach for levying infrastructure cost charges on franchised passenger operators

Response pro-forma for consultation on charges recovering fixed network costs

Additional documents

In addition to the above consultation documents, we commissioned CEPA and Systra to produce analysis on the market segmentation and ability to bear mark-ups for different types of freight and passenger rail services. Both documents are available.

Market-can-bear analysis: Freight services, report by CEPA, published 9 October 2017

Market-can-bear analysis: Passenger services, report by CEPA and Systra, revised version published 16 November 2017

How to respond

We would welcome your views on this consultation by 30 November 2017. Please send your response to We have prepared this pro-forma, should you wish to use it when submitting your response.

For other information on upcoming PR18 publications, please see our PR18 timetable.

Publishing your response

Information provided in response to this consultation, including personal information, may be subject to publication or disclosure in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) or the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.

If you want information that you provide to be treated as confidential, please be aware that, under the FOIA, there is a statutory Code of Practice with which public authorities must comply and which deals, amongst other things, with obligations of confidence.

In view of this it would be helpful if you could explain to us why you regard the information you have provided as confidential. If we receive a request for disclosure of the information, we will take full account of your explanation, but cannot give an assurance that confidentiality can be maintained in all circumstances. An automatic confidentiality disclaimer generated by your IT system will not, of itself, be regarded as binding on ORR.

We will process your personal data in accordance with the Data Protection Act (DPA) and in the majority of circumstances this will mean that your personal data will not be disclosed to third parties.

Format of responses

So that we are able to apply web standards to content on our website, we would prefer that you email us your response either in Microsoft Word format or OpenDocument Text (.odt) format.

If you do send us a PDF document, please:

  • create it from the electronic Word file (preferably using Adobe Acrobat), as opposed to an image scan, where possible; and
  • ensure that the PDF's security method is set to no security in the document properties.

PR18 charges & incentives impacts model

In our June 2017 conclusions to our consultation on charges and incentives, we committed to publishing an explanatory note introducing the model we have developed to assess the financial impact on train operators of changes in charges and incentives in PR18. This note is set out below. While we are continuing to refine and improve the model, we are making available a version of the current model. Our intention in doing so is to provide transparency on the limitations of the model and, reflecting this, the types of additional information that would be useful for stakeholders to share with us to supplement the evidence that the model will provide.

Please read the explanatory note before looking at the model as this sets out the scope and limitations of the model. For example, as the input data used in this analysis is not publicly available, this version of the model uses only dummy data. The link to the July 2017 version of the model is in the note.

Explanatory note introducing the PR18 charges and incentives impacts model
July 2017

Conclusions on changes to charges and contractual incentives

Date published: 15 December 2016
Consultation closing date: 9 March 2017
Conclusions published: 29 June 2017

In December 2016, we published a consultation on changes to charges and contractual incentives. This built on previous work undertaken as part of the 2018 periodic review (PR18) of Network Rail’s outputs and funding – for example, our December 2015 consultation and November 2015 stakeholder letter on Schedules 4 and 8.

We received 37 responses from a range of stakeholders. We are grateful to all those who responded. The responses are redacted where appropriate and are available (see the link below).

Following careful review of stakeholder responses, we have made our conclusions to the consultation. Where appropriate we have also updated the supporting documents that accompanied the proposals in our December 2016 consultation, to take account of stakeholder comments. Both our conclusions and these updated supporting documents are available below. The conclusions document contains an annex outlining next steps, including details of further consultations in autumn 2017.

Conclusions documents

Conclusions on consultation on charges and contractual incentives
Published 29 June 2017

Responses to PR18 consultation on changes to charges and contractual incentives
Published 29 June 2017

Please see the drop down menus below for the impact assessments and supporting documents to the consultation and conclusions.

Consultation document

Improving incentives on Network Rail and train operators: a consultation on changes to charges and contractual incentives
Published 15 December 2016

Documents supporting conclusions

Final impact assessments

Schedule 4 supporting documents

Consultation and initial supporting documents

We set out below the material that we published at the time of consultation. This includes the consultation document and supporting materials. Where appropriate, these supporting documents have been updated or finalised and are published above.


Improving incentives on Network Rail and train operators: a consultation on changes to charges and contractual incentives
Published 15 December 2016


Draft impact assessments:

Initial thinking and proposals:

Stakeholder events

In February 2017, we held two stakeholder events in London and Glasgow to help support attendees in the developing their responses to this consultation. Slides used at these stakeholder events are available.

Charges and contractual incentives stakeholder presentation slides - February 2017