Regulatory Authorities

In countries with mandated track access regimes a regulatory authority has to supervise and enforce the specific regulations on track access. Depending on the national railway laws and regulations this authority may also have approval functions (for example, with regard to network statements, access undertakings and model access contracts) or serve as an appeal body in the case of disputes regarding track access. 

These functions can be assumed by a general railway authority, by a regulatory authority that is also responsible for other regulated sectors or by a regulatory authority that deals exclusively with track access. Regulatory authorities that ensure equitable infrastructure access and access charges are also referred to as economic regulators

Useful information on railway regulation for a specific country can be found on the websites of the respective railway authorities:


  • National: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) - ACCC is the economic regulator for the national access regime established by the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. It assesses access undertakings put forward by access providers and arbitrates disputes arising under accepted access undertakings. The ACCC is the competent economic regulator for the main parts of the Australian interstate network and the Hunter Valley Coal Network.
  • Queensland: Queensland Competition Authority (QCA) – QCA is the economic regulator for Queensland. One of its main responsibilities is to ensure that third-party access is granted to all essential facilities including railway infrastructure. The Queensland Competition Authority is the economic regulator for the Central Queensland coal network.
  • Victoria: Essential Services Commission – The Essential Services Commission is the economic regulator for all regulated sectors in Victoria. Its main responsibilities with regard to railways are the assessment and approval of access arrangements and the resolution of access disputes.
  • Western Australia: Economic Regulation Authority (ERA) – ERA is the economic regulator for all regulated sectors in Western Australia. It oversees, monitors and enforces compliance with railway access regulation.

European Union (EU)

  • European Railway Authority (ERA) - ERA was set up to help create an integrated railway area in Europe by reinforcing safety and interoperability. Its main task is to prepare new and updated legislative acts for adoption by the EU Commission and to give technical support to the EU Commission.
  • Federal Network Authority (Bundesnetzagentur – BNetzA) (English and German) – BNetzA is the regulatory authority for all regulated sectors in Germany. With regard to railways one of its main tasks is to ensure non-discriminatory track access and track access charges.
  • Federal Railway Authority (Eisenbahnbundesamt – EBA) (English and German) - EBA is the supervisory, licensing and safety authority for railway and railway undertakings in Germany.
United Kingdom:

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Comisión Regional de Regulación del Transporte (CNRT) (Spanish) – CNRT is the regulatory authority in Argentina in charge of supervising all land transportation (rail, bus and truck – passenger and freight) that falls under national jurisdiction. With regard to railways, CNRT supervises and enforces concession contracts and ensures railway safety.
  • Agência Nacional de Transportes Terrestres (ANTT) (Portuguese) – ANTT is the regulatory authority responsible for highways, railways, passenger and cargo transport and international transport. With regard to railways its main tasks are to supervise concession contracts and the transport of passengers and cargo.
  • Ministry of Communication and Transportation (English) Secretaría de Communicaciones y Transportes (SCT) (Spanish) – SCT is the regulatory authority for telecommunication and transport in Mexico and responsible for railway regulation.
  • Organismo Supervisor de la Inversión Privada en Transporte (OSITRAN) (Spanish) – OSITRAN is the economic regulator for the transport sector in Peru. With regard to railways main responsibilities are to ensure non-discriminatory access to essential facilities including railway infrastructure and compliance of concessionaires with the terms and conditions of the railway concessions.

North America

  • Canadian Transportation Agency Office des transports du Canada (English and French) – The Agency is the economic regulator within the federal transportation system. It has primary responsibility for carrying out the provisions of the Canada Transportation Act and annexed regulations.

Sub-Saharan Africa

South Africa:
  • Railway Safety Regulator (RSR) – RSR is the railway authority in South Africa. It oversees and promotes safe railway operations through support, monitoring and enforcement.

For more information on sector-specific regulation see Regulation of Sectors and Regulatory Issues Impacting PPPs

Download Page as PDF

Updated: October 10, 2021