Federal support scheme for passenger transport by night trains
Support for passenger transport by night trains 2023-2024
In order to contribute to the modal shift in favour of rail, in line with the Paris Climate Agreement and Belgium's general policy objectives of doubling the modal share of rail by 2040, a support mechanism for night trains in Belgium has been put in place.
A budget of up to €2 million per year has been earmarked for this aid mechanism, for the period from 1 July 2023 to 31 December 2024.
On 12 September 2023, this aid scheme was approved by the European Commission. The Royal Decree of 28 November 2023 (see here) set the date of entry into force of the provisions included in the Law of 7 June 2023 (see here for the full provisions of the Law) at 1 July 2023.
Who is eligible?
The beneficiaries of this support mechanism are applicants within the meaning of Article 3, 11° of the Belgian Rail Code (here) whose transport services are the subject of a contract with Infrabel. The transport services in question concern the transport of passengers by night train.
Night trains are all international passenger trains serving at least one station in Belgium and consisting of at least one sleeper and/or couchette car, scheduled to depart before 23:30 and arrive after 05:00.
How is the aid calculated?
The reduction is calculated per half-year on the basis of the invoices for infrastructure and energy charges linked to train-kilometres actually travelled on the rail infrastructure in Belgium - for the period from 1 July 2023 to 31 December 2024. The reduction may be limited so as not to exceed the overall budget for each six-month period. The terms of payment will be specified in Infrabel's Network Reference Document and in the Royal Decree.
What is the maximum amount of aid?
The amount is limited to the sum of the infrastructure charge and the energy costs.
How to apply for the support mechanism ?
Applicants who meet the criteria automatically benefit from the support mechanism, via Infrabel's billing system.
Applicants who choose an energy supplier other than Infrabel will be reimbursed for this cost by the FPS Mobility and Transport.