PARTNERING DEALS AND EFFICIENT BORDER ARRANGEMENTS THE KEY TO GROWTH OF EUROPEAN RAIL FREIGHT

Although technical barriers to rail interoperability in Europe remain substantial, simple improvements in border crossing arrangements and improved bilateral partnership deals between private or public sector bodies offer the greatest potential for short term growth in European freight transport. Although technical and access price harmonisation are vital in the longer term, slow progress in implementing the Trans European Rail Freight Freeways (TERFFs) suggests that an imposed institutional approach will not in itself guarantee the rapid commercialisation of Europe's rail freight industry. Four strands of evidence are presented: (1) A model of UIC/continental freight which demonstrates that efficiency improvements offer much more scope for rail freight growth than overall market growth; (2) The findings of a DG VII study of conventional rail interoperability which shows that efficiency gains from operational improvements at borders yield a far better benefit-cost ratio than system harmonisation; (3) A UK motor manufacturer's experience of rail haulage in Europe indicating that often minor operational adjustments could lead to considerably increased rail haulage; and (4) one public sector and one private sector example of new freight business that has arisen from successful negotiation within existing institutional parameters. It is concluded that the practicalities of achieving efficient international freight operation are an objective that does not need to wait for full implementation of all EC directives. Entrepreneurial attitudes and often ad hoc partnering, involving either public or private sector operators, can achieve much of what the directives intend and indeed can be the factors which stimulate fuller implementation. For the covering abstract see IRRD E104573.

Language

  • English

Media Info

  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: p. 75-87

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00790399
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • ISBN: 0-86050-320-8
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Apr 11 2000 12:00AM