On timetable assumptions in railway investment appraisal
economics - appraisal/evaluation, economics - benefits, operations - scheduling
Cost-benefit analysis, Appraisal, Railway investments, Timetables
The benefits captured in an appraisal of a railway investment are determined by what timetables the analyst assumes in the scenarios with and without the investment. Without an explicit, objective and verifiable principle for which timetables to assume, the appraisal outcome is virtually arbitrary. This means that appraisals of railway investments cannot be compared to each other, and opens the door for strategic behaviour by stakeholders conducting seemingly objective cost-benefit analysis. We explain and illustrate the nature and extent of the problem, discuss possible timetable construction principles, and show that current practice is likely to exaggerate appraisal benefits.
Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.
Eliasson, J. & Börjesson, M. (2014). On timetable assumptions in railway investment appraisal. Transport Policy, Vol. 36, pp. 118–126.