Rail track infrastructure ownership: Investment and operational issues

Ferreira, Luis (1997) Rail track infrastructure ownership: Investment and operational issues. Transportation, 24(2), pp. 183-200.

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Abstract. As privatisation of railway systems reach the political agendas in a number of countries, the separation of track infrastructure from train operations is seen as providing the vehicle which will improve profitability within the rail industry. This paper deals with three main issues related to such separation within a freight railway focus, namely: investment appraisal; track standards and maintenance; and train operating performance. The conflicts of interest between the owners of track and their client operators are discussed in detail. Costs related to track capacity and congestion need to be taken into account, given that additional trains are likely to lead to increased risk of delays to existing services. The paper discusses the use of a travel time reliability model to estimate the additional costs imposed on the system through the introduction of specific train services. It is concluded that investment in individual elements of railway infrastructure must be integrated with the overall financial and customer service strategies of both operators and owners. As an alternative to current practices, a hybrid model of track ownership is put forward here. Under such a model, a joint-venture company with equity from the main "players" would be owner of track. This would allow some of the benefits of vertical integration to be retained, whilst providing fair access to new operators.

Impact and interest:

7 citations in Scopus
7 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 2477
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: railway economics, railway infrastructure, train operations, railway
DOI: 10.1023/A:1004967120888
ISSN: 1572-9435
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > TRANSPORTATION AND FREIGHT SERVICES (150700) > Rail Transportation and Freight Services (150702)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Copyright Owner: Copyright 1997 Springer
Copyright Statement: The original publication is available at SpringerLink
Deposited On: 06 Dec 2005 00:00
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 12:28

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