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Pricing commercial train path requests based on societal costs

Abderrahman Ait Ali (), Jennifer Warg () and Jonas Eliasson ()
Additional contact information
Abderrahman Ait Ali: Swedish National Road & Transport Research Institute (VTI), Postal: Dept. of Transport Economics, P.O. Box 55685, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden
Jennifer Warg: KTH, Postal: Dept. of Transport Economics, P.O. Box 55685, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden

Authors registered in the RePEc Author Service: Abderrahman Ait-Ali ()

No 2019:2, Working Papers from Swedish National Road & Transport Research Institute (VTI)

Abstract: On deregulated railway markets, efficient capacity allocation is important. We study the case where commercial trains and publicly controlled traffic (“commuter trains”) use the same railway infrastructure and hence compete for capacity. We develop a method that can be used by an infrastructure manager trying to allocate capacity in a socially efficient way. The method calculates the loss of social benefits incurred by changing the commuter train timetable to accommodate a commercial train path request and based on this calculates a reservation price for the train path request. If the commercial operator’s willingness-to-pay for the train path exceeds the loss of social benefits, its request is approved. The calculation of social benefits takes into account changes in commuter train passengers’ travel times, waiting times, transfers and crowding, and changes in operating costs for the commuter train operator(s). The method is implemented in a microscopic simulation program, which makes it possible to test the robustness and feasibility of timetable alternatives. We show that the method is possible to apply in practice by demonstrating it in a case study from Stockholm, illustrating the magnitudes of the resulting commercial train path prices. We conclude that marginal societal costs of railway capacity in Stockholm are considerably higher than the current track access charges.

Keywords: Train timetables; Societal costs; Commuter trains; Commercial trains; Train path pricing (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: R40 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 21 pages
Date: 2019-04-26
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-reg, nep-tre and nep-ure
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Journal Article: Pricing commercial train path requests based on societal costs (2020) Downloads
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