The Competitiveness of Railways in Central and Eastern Europe



The Competitiveness of Railways in Central and Eastern Europe

Authors

BROWN M, Halcrow, UK and HALLOFF U, Swederail, Sweden

Description

The railways of the Central and Eastern European Countries (CEECs) are facing a crisis. Throughout the region (see Figure 1) markets are contracting, operating costs are rising and state treasuries are being called upon to make ever greater subsidy paymen

Abstract

The railways of the Central and Eastern European Countries (CEECs) are facing a crisis. Throughout the region (see Figure 1) markets are contracting, operating costs are rising and state treasuries are being called upon to make ever greater subsidy payments to maintain services.

The financial implications of these trends are particularly severe. As national economies gradually strengthen, railways are suffering the double blow of rising costs and the loss of market share to other modes.

Railways have a key role to play in supporting sustainable economic growth and development. As countries complete the transition to fully fledged, developed market economies, an efficient rail system helps minimise the economic costs of transport by limiting congestion and environmental degradation.

However, in the absence of major changes, few CEEC railways appear capable of fulfilling such a role in the development of their national and international transport systems.

It is against this background that the Phare Multi-Country Transport Programme of the European Union initiated a study, led by Halcrow, to examine means of improving the competitiveness of rail in the CEECs. This study was carried out during 1999.

This paper summarises the key findings and recommendations of the Halcrow study.

Publisher

Association for European Transport