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Estimating the impact of traffic on rail infrastructure maintenance costs: The importance of axle loads

Kristofer Odolinski ()
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Kristofer Odolinski: VTI, Postal: Centrum för Transportstudier (CTS), Teknikringen 10, 100 44 Stockholm, Sweden

No 2016:21, Working papers in Transport Economics from CTS - Centre for Transport Studies Stockholm (KTH and VTI)

Abstract: In this paper, we estimate the impact of axle loads on rail infrastructure maintenance costs. The results show that cost elasticities with respect to traffic increase with axle load. Using these elasticities, we calculate marginal costs for traffic that are differentiated with respect to the trains' average tonnage per axle. The results are relevant when setting track access charges in Europe as well as for railway cost studies in general, considering that the empirical evidence in this paper gives support to the engineering perspective — that is, axle loads are important to consider when assessing the damage caused by traffic.

Keywords: maintenance; rail infrastructure; axle load; marginal cost; track access charge; top-down approach (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: L92 R48 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 17 pages
Date: 2016-09-28, Revised 2018-11-14
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-reg, nep-tre and nep-ure
Note: Published in Journal of Transport Economics and Policy (JTEP), Volume 53, Number 3, July 2019, pp. 334-350.
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