Railways: Electricity

Department for Transport written question – answered on 20th October 2021.

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Photo of Ian Mearns Ian Mearns Chair, Backbench Business Committee, Chair, Backbench Business Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much Network Rail has increased the electricity prices it charges to (a) Freight Operating Companies and (b) Train Operating Companies to operate electric train services in each month since October 2020 to date.

Photo of Chris Heaton-Harris Chris Heaton-Harris Minister of State (Department for Transport)

Network Rail (NR) does not set traction electricity charges for train operators. Network Rail procures traction electricity on behalf of the rail industry, which is then charged to operators at the price that NR pays. This means that Network Rail does not set the price or make a profit or loss in this process. If market electricity prices change, the risk or benefit rests with train and freight operators.

Each train and freight operator has its own strategy for securing future traction electricity prices. These strategies are then enacted by Network Rail according to the Traction Electricity Rules referenced in Track Access contracts. The process replicates what operators would need to do if they bought directly from an energy supplier.

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