Title

TOWARDS A WELFARE ENHANCING PROCESS TO MANAGE RAILWAY INFRASTRUCTURE ACCESS

Authors

J-E Nilsson

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2002

Subject Area

operations - capacity, operations - traffic, operations - frequency, infrastructure - track, place - europe, mode - rail

Keywords

Willingness-to-pay, Welfare economics, Train traffic, Traffic capacity, Tracks, Resource allocation, Railways, Railroads, Railroad traffic, Railroad tracks, Optimization, Optimisation, Marginal costs, Infrastructure, Highway capacity, Frequency allocation, Europe

Abstract

This paper suggests a method for allocating scarce railway track capacity in a way that ascertains that existing resources are efficiently used. The European Commission has suggested that the use of track capacity should be charged for on a marginal cost basis and that a welfare enhancing procedure to allocate capacity between competing operators is to be implemented. Two issues are at the analytical core of this problem: (1) in order to prioritize, accurate information is required about the operators' willingness-to-pay for track access; (2) an approach to handle the technically complex optimization problem is needed so that reasonably optimal allocations, given the accurate information, can be established. To solve the first issue, an auctioning procedure has been developed and to remedy the second, dual optimization is suggested. U.S. experience from using auctions in the radio-wave frequency market is cited as evidence that such an approach is feasible.

Comments

Transportation Research Part A Home Page: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/09658564