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 obligations, traffic technologies and efficiency and "light" work, in order to improve the performance of existing lines, and "heavy" work, to build new railway works to modernise and develop the network.

The 2012-2016 PC-I was signed on 8 August 2014 and concluded its authorisation process with registration at the Court of Auditors on 16 June 2015. The main objectives of the PC-I are focused on the completion of the works already under way and the start-up of priority works for the modernisation and development of the infrastructure and the improvement of safety levels.

In February 2016, following the approval by the Inter-ministerial Committee for Economic Planning at its meeting on 23 December 2015, the Ministry of Transport, FS and RFI presented the 2015 update to the PC-I, which concluded its approval process with the registration of the Ministry of Transport/Ministry of Economy and Finance approval decree by the Court of Auditors on 2 November 2016. The Contract was defined as part of the new strategy of investments on the network, which sees "care for the railways" as a priority in the government's transport and infrastructure policies, i.e. a plan of initiatives aimed at pursuing the following objectives: greater safety, the latest technology in stations and along lines, quality and comfort for travellers, rapid connections, but above all special attention to interventions on regional and local networks in favour of commuting, and any type of investment useful for transferring freight from road to rail. This update includes new funds amounting to some €9 billion.

The 2016 update of the 2012-2016 CP-I, signed on 17 June, was examined at the meeting of 10 August 2016 by the Inter-ministerial Committee for Economic Planning, which issued a favourable opinion. It was then approved with the conversion law of the so-called Fiscal Decree no.225 of 1 December 2016. This update includes, compared to 2015, additional funds amounting to approximately €9 billion.

The new 2017-2021 RFI Programme Contract - investment section, examined at the meeting of 7 August 2017 by CIPE, which expressed a favourable opinion, ended its authorisation process with the registration of the Ministry of Transport/Ministry of Economy and Finance approval decree by the Court of Auditors on 9 May 2019. The contracted funds will make it possible, in line with the national railway network development strategy, not only to ensure the safety and modernisation of the existing railway infrastructure, in order to provide citizens with more efficient and safer infrastructure and a better quantity and quality of services for commuters, but also to revitalise rail freight transport and intermodality by placing intermodal nodes at the centre of network development to improve accessibility to ports, freight villages and airports. New funds amounting to approximately €13.3 billion are agreed through this contract.

The 2018-2019 update of the PC-Investments, examined at the meeting of 24 July 2019 by CIPE, which issued a favourable opinion, ended its authorisation process with the registration of the MIT/MEF approval decree by the Court of Auditors on 26 October 2020.

All the funds covered by the contractual act amounting to €15.3 billion aimed at the start-up/prosecution of the following investment projects/programmes have become operational:

€2.5 billion for the continuation of safety and compliance programmes

• €1.7 billion for the technological modernisation of railway lines and facilities

• €0.1 billion for the tourist development of minor railways

• €1 billion for the development of regional networks

• €1.5 billion for the strengthening and development of metropolitan areas

• €0.2 billion for the development of intermodality (ports, freight villages and airports)

• €6.8 billion for the development of the main railway lines

• €1.5 billion for the continuation of projects to be implemented 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.