Eurotunnel has published its Network Statement – the network reference document for Channel Tunnel access conditions.
The Network Statement sets out the access conditions for the Channel Tunnel in 2014 for railway operators, providing them with everything they need to prepare their own transport services.
Prepared following consultation with railway operators and trade associations (SNCF, Eurostar, Deutsche Bahn, SNCB, Veolia, Europorte, Rail Freight Group), infrastructure operators (RFF, HS1, Network Rail) and the Inter Governmental Commission (IGC), the Eurotunnel document “takes as its priority the equal and non discriminatory treatment of all railway operators”.
High Speed rail traffic tariffs are defined in the “Railway Usage Contract” (RUC), signed between state-owned railways (The British Railways Board and SNCF) and Eurotunnel in 1987. This access contract, which is valid for the period up until 2052, is essentially based upon “per passenger” charging, and evolves at a rate below the average inflation rate of the two countries concerned.
Viewed in the light of the entirely privately funded Channel Tunnel, this tariff is comparatively lower than that applied by the neighbouring high-speed networks. It has proved to be an effective tool which has enabled the significant development of the passenger traffic services across the Channel, soon to reach 10 million passengers per year.
For rail freight trains, the tariff is modular to take account of the vagaries of the traffic, in particular the low speed of crossing (120kph through the Tunnel compared to 140kph or 160kph for other traffic), in order to make it more competitive against other modes of transport.