Freight Modelling - Transport Markets, Model Requirements, Transport Strategy

Freight Modelling - Transport Markets, Model Requirements, Transport Strategy


S Newton and M Garratt, MDS-Transmodal, UK



Successive UK transport policy initiatives have stressed the importance of raising rail?s share of domestic inland transport. The Ten-Year Plan, the SRA Freight Strategy, and the European Commission?s Transport White Paper set out long term objectives for rail freight, underlining this commitment. At local and regional levels, policy makers have also been active and increasingly ambitious in developing rail freight?s potential, and contributing to this development process. During the 1990s, many rail freight terminals have been developed and operated successfully by the private sector, catering for unit load traffic. Despite a rapid decline in traditional markets for rail, the sector has experienced growth. The opening of the Channel Tunnel, the privatisation of the British rail industry and a number of revenue support and capital investment schemes have all raised the profile of the industry and also raised expectations. However the constraints on the rail freight industry are well known, still active, and increasingly politically sensitive.

In an industry where key investment decisions are made in the private sector by the companies who control the freight traffic, it has been necessary to develop a strategic overview of rail market structures,supported by quantitative techniques to prioritise and integrate policy initiatives. Transport models can help to reduce uncertainty and complexity by encapsulating the microeconomic forces, bridging the gap between policy and markets.

This presentation will consider three areas:

* The specific model design criteria for the rail freight sector: an evolving process of consensus and technique.

* The software implementation developed by MDS-Transmodal and ITS, informed by the SRA, the DTLR, the Scottish Executive and Railtrack. * The implications of the modelling work for transport policy, considering a specific case study.

The content will be based on recent research work, including the DTLR?s review of freight modelling techniques, and the development of rail freight forecasts for the SRA?s 2001 Freight Strategy document.


Association for European Transport