Claims under International Railway Transport Convention against Austrian Railway Network Provider | ZFZ Postcard Cases

In 2015, a train of a private German train operator derailed in Kufstein (Austria), resulting in severe damage caused to two of its locomotives.

For the duration of the repair of the two trains, the train operator claimed the costs for leasing two replacement locomotives from Austrian Railway Infrastructure Firm (ÖBB Infrastruktur Aktiengesellschaft), who provided the railway network. The claim was based on the agreed Uniform Rules under the Contract of Use of Infrastructure in International Rail Traffic (“CUI”).

In the recent preliminary procedure initiated by the Austrian Supreme Court, the Advocate General stated that in their opinion, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) holds competence to interpret the CUI. The Advocate General further stated that leasing costs are not to be considered within damage to property claims under the CUI and that the CUI allows the parties to the contract to assume greater liability, including a greater extent of liability, which is conditional upon fault.

While the decision of the CJEU remains awaited, the opinion of the Advocate General can be found here.

For further questions, please reach out to Lukas Wieser or Christian Weisgram.