Diversification Activities of Railway Companies: a "convergence" Towards the Station?



Diversification Activities of Railway Companies: a "convergence" Towards the Station?

Authors

E Doumas, ENPC-PSE, FR

Description

This study is about the diversification activities, and the activities of capitalization of the land and commercial rent generated by railway infrastructures, of railway companies, in the different parts of the world, between 1990 and 2004.

Abstract

This study is about the diversification activities, and more accurately the activities of capitalization of the land and commercial rent generated by railway infrastructures, of railway companies.

Though this is a rather important subject of studies reflecting the situation of some countries where rail is still a major means of passenger transport, like Japan, there has been until now almost no study dealing with this set of issues. And this is because of the clear lack of available data concerning diversification activities of railway companies, and especially concerning activities of capitalization of the land and commercial rent generated by railway infrastructures (which are also activities taking advantage of economies of scope existing on fixed assets such as the stations or the land located around the station and the tracks). That is why, in this study, a first global (dealing with the cases of the different railway companies in the different parts of the world) empirical qualitative and quantitative description of diversification activities of railway companies is undertaken. This work is done in close cooperation with the UIC (International Union of Railway companies) and other railway related bodies. Its conclusions show the particular situation of Japan where diversification activities account for large amounts of the operating revenue and income of railway companies (for the whole Japan, activities of capitalization of the land and commercial rent generated by railway infrastructures account for 42% of total operating revenues, and 24% of total operating income of railway companies), and the present changing situation in Europe.

More accurately, the paper goes as follows: the global situation of diversification activities in the different parts of the world in 2003-2004 is first described. Then, the evolution of these activities during the period 1990-2004 is studied. A ?convergence? (not to be understood in any technical or mathematical meaning) towards diversification activities in the station is presented, while some economic and financial properties of the different business segments of diversification activities are shown. Some consequences of the apparition of a convergence towards diversification activities in the station are discussed. Finally, based on an inquiry of different railway companies representatives, the question of whether the convergence of activities in the station implies or not the convergence of the different business models is discussed.

Publisher

Association for European Transport