Since our incorporation in 2001 - due to the effects of the Concession Act signed in 2000 between the Ministry of Transport and Ferrovie dello Stato - we have been the sole manager of the national railway infrastructure and we are therefore obliged to implement the plans defined with the government regarding investments for the development of the infrastructure and network maintenance activities. The Programme Contract is the instrument governing the economic and financial aspects of the concession relationship between us and the government.

Lasting no less than 5 years, updatable and renewable including on an annual basis, the Programme Contract incorporates the planning outlined in accordance with the national and EU guidelines and constraints relating to the development and management of railway infrastructure and economic and financial planning, as well as the industrial needs of RFI.  The planning is updated on the basis of studies, analyses, evaluations and projections that take into account the progress in the implementation and design of the planned interventions as well as changes in the reference context - strategic, legislative, transport, economic and financial, while maintaining the safety standards of railway traffic.

Introduced into Italian law in 1987, the Programme Contract for railway infrastructure was adopted in 1991 with the signing of the 1991-1992 PC between FS and the government, followed by the "bridge" PC in December 1992 and the 1994-2000 PC signed in March 1996.
 

The government and RFI, established in July 2001, then signed the 2001-2005 CP, whose validity was extended to 2006 by Inter-ministerial Committee for Economic Planning Resolution 159/2005, and, in October 2007, the 2007-2011 CP which, with the 2009 update, incorporated the new aspect introduced by the “2010 Financial” law (Law191 /2009, Article 2, paragraph 232) relating to works of high technical complexity and significant financial commitment, to be financed in “tranches” so as to allow the start-up of construction in "construction lots", including “non-functional” ones.
 

From 2013, pursuant to CIPE Resolution no. 4/2012, the Company's relations with the government have no longer been governed by a single contract but by two actsthe Investment PC and the Services PC.

 

The Programme Contract - Investment Section (PC-I) is aimed at regulating the sustainable planning of infrastructure investments relating to safety and compliance with legal requirements, traffic technology and efficiency, measures to increase the performance of existing lines, and measures for the construction of new railway works to modernise and develop the network.

The 2018-2019 update of the PC-Investments was examined by the Italian interministerial economic committee (CIPE) in its meeting on 24 July 2019 for which it issued a favourable opinion. The authorisation process was concluded with the registration of the MIT/MEF approval Decree registered by the Court of Audit on 26 October 2020, all the resources covered by the contractual act amounting to 15.3 billion Euro becoming effective. 

At the same time, the operator has prepared a joint contractual update for 2020-2021 to incorporate the programming and funding developments (National Recovery and Resilience Plan, Supplementary Fund, Infrastructure Annex to the DEF) and, in a mutually reinforcing and complementary manner, to finalise the resources of the 2020 and 2021 budget laws, contractualising in a single act all the investments to be launched and those to give continuity to the works in progress, already approved in the 2018-2019 Programme Contract Update, to ensure their immediate implementation.

In line with the National Rail Programme’s (PNRR) objectives, the contractualised resources will allow for the modernisation of the railway infrastructure to ensure greater efficiency and safety and a better quantity and quality of services, but also the development of new sustainable infrastructures aimed at closing the North-South infrastructure deficit; aiming at high speed and speeding up the network for passengers and goods, by reinforcing railway nodes and routes; completing the TEN-T railway corridors and pass sections; increasing the quality and quantity of rail transport; promoting intermodality, developing integration with other types of transport.

The 2020-2021 update of the PC-Investments followed an accelerated procedure as provided for by Article 73-ter of the conversion law 106 of 23 July 2021 and Decree-Law 73 of 25 May 2021 (so-called Support bis) providing: «Urgent measures related to the COVID-19 emergency, for business, labour, youth, health and territorial services»; in fact, the authorisation process was concluded after having received a favourable opinion from the Interministerial Committee for Economic Planning (CIPESS) in the meeting held on 27 July 2021, with resolution 45 published in the Official Journal on 18 November 2021. 

With this deed, new resources amounting to approximately 31.7 billion Euro are contractualised for the launch/continuation of the following investment projects/programmes:

  • 2.7 billion Euro for the continuation of safety and compliance programmes;
  • 3.6 billion Euro for the technological modernisation of railway lines and facilities;
  • 0.2 billion Euro for the tourist upgrading of minor railways;
  • 2.3 billion Euro for the upgrading of regional networks;
  • 1.9 billion Euro for the upgrading and development of metropolitan areas;
  • 0.9 billion Euro for the development of intermodality (ports, freight terminals, and airports);
  • 17.3 billion Euro for the development of the main railway lines;
  • 2.8 billion Euro for the continuation of projects to be carried out in construction lots.

 

The Programme Contract - Services Section (CdP- S) governs the financing of the Operation and Extraordinary Maintenance of the Network, aimed at ensuring the network can be used safely and reliably through ordinary and extraordinary maintenance activities, as well as the financing of other operating costs relating to railway operations (traffic, safety, security, railway navigation) and assistance services to persons with reduced mobility.
 

The first PC-S between RFI and the government - operational since June 2014 - was followed by the 2016-2021 PC-S, signed on 14 June 2017 and made operational since 02/10/2017 following the registration by the Court of Auditors of the Ministerial Decree approving it. The new 2016-2021 PC-S keeps substantially the same approach as the previous act, introducing a number of new features in line with the changes in the legislative and regulatory framework (most specifically, Legislative Decree no. 112/2015 and Italian Transport Authority (ART) Resolution no. 96/2015 defining the principles and criteria for determining charges for access to the railway infrastructure).

The main subject of the PC-S remains the regulation of the financing of maintenance activities on the national railway network for work of the following types:

  • "Ordinary" (aimed at limiting the normal degradation of the infrastructure within the expected useful life of the technical systems into which the infrastructure is divided, and of first maintenance).
  • “Extraordinary” (aimed at the renewal/replacement of subsystem components or entire subsystems, which increase the value of the asset and at the same time improve its reliability, productivity, efficiency and safety).

For the 2016-2021 period, the Programme Contract - Services part envisages requirements of approximately €10.5 billion (annual average of approximately €1.8 billion), against total available funding under current legislation of approximately €9.3 billion.