Railway Track Access and Use - a Proposed Charging Methodology for Individual and Interconnected Systems
GYLEE M, University of Central England in Birmingham
This paper is a summary of the key themes of my PhD Thesis - Railway Network Access Pricing- Maximizing the Use of the Track Capacity - supervised and examined at the University of Central England in Birmingham and awarded on the 3 rd March 1999. In essen
This paper is a summary of the key themes of my PhD Thesis - Railway Network Access Pricing- Maximizing the Use of the Track Capacity - supervised and examined at the University of Central England in Birmingham and awarded on the 3 rd March 1999. In essence it proposes a working alternative for charging users (authorized operators) for their time on the railway infrastructure.
It represents an uncomplicated way of allocating; pricing and controlling the capacity and use of the railway infrastructure at the base level, which accepts and accommodates any subsequent flexing of the price to the users, in an efficient and logicai manner. There is, however, a key requirement that the railway infi~tructure is available to all authorized operators at all times. The position of universal access is essential in the market led provision of services. To achieve that universal position will require significant investment as a one-off commitment, recoverable through the use of system charge over the price control period, at levels agreed by the regulator.
For clarity, "authorized operator" means any train operating company, either franchise or independent third party, as well as any body, company or undertaking that has a legitimate right to access to the railway infrastructure. (eg: repair and maintenance operators).
The thesis concentrates on the commercial aspects of the operation of the infrastructure (track; track bed; signalling; stations etc.). It follows that the established method of allocating infrastructure common (or joint) costs has been replaced by a market value approach which ascribes a monetary value to each minute of time used or consumed by authorised operators on the system. Anyone looking for the conventional approach the allocation of track costs on a railway system will, I am afraid, be disappointed.
Association for European Transport