Transport Papers

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  • Publication
    The Financial Performance of Non-Urban Passenger Rail Services
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2007-09) Amos, Paul; Bullock, Richard
    The paper has three parts. It first summarizes the main factors that influence the costs and fare box cost recovery of rail passenger services, with illustrations from a range of different countries in which the Bank is involved in rail passenger operations. Second, it provides a generalized passenger service costing model, including indicative sets of input unit costs representing different levels of efficiency: this model is used for illustrative purposes in this paper but the structure can be readily applied by transport planners and policy-makers, with use of local parameters, in developing and transition countries. Third, it illustrates the cost drivers of services and the sensitivity of costs to different market and operational drivers. This report also addresses the sensitivity of cost to changes in key scenario assumptions. This shows that operating costs are minimized (but revenue not necessarily maximized) when operating speed is around 80 km/h. Above that speed, above-rail unit costs gradually increase as continuing reductions in time-related costs, principally rolling stock capital cost, are progressively offset by increased fuel consumption and equipment maintenance. Infrastructure maintenance costs also increase significantly with speed because of the need for higher quality track.
  • Publication
    Reform, Commercialization and Private Sector Participation in Railways in Eastern Europe and Central Asia
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2005-01) Amos, Paul
    Railway reform in the ECA region provides a mixed picture. Seven countries could reasonably be described as 'high' reformers: Estonia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Poland, Romania and the Slovak Republic. Most of the high and medium reformers have in the last few years adopted new railway laws, adopted more commercial business structures, tried explicitly to address the issue of funding passenger losses, privatized some non-core businesses and encouraged some competition in input (supply) markets. But only Estonia has privatized a core railway transport business while a few other countries (such as Kazakhstan and Romania) have instituted third party rail freight operations for a significant part of the market. Russia is classified as a medium reformer because the reforms are still at an early stage. But given the scale and complexity of the challenge, it will be the most impressive of achievement if the stated policies for private operations and competition can be realized. About ten out of the ECA 27 countries have not yet significantly reformed their railway industries, though two or three of these have plans (but not yet legislation) to do so. Those countries judged as being 'low reformers' are not all poor performers. The business and financial performance of the railways in Ukraine and Azerbaijan, for example, is currently improving although there has been little structural change in the industry. However, some of the railways in this group such as Albania, Macedonia, and Turkey are in dire straits.