Working papers in Transport Economics
On timetable assumptions in railway investment appraisal
() and Maria Börjesson
Abstract: The benefits captured in an appraisal of a railway
investment are determined by what timetables the analyst assumes in the
scenarios with and without the investment. Without an explicit, objective
and verifiable principle for which timetables to assume, the appraisal
outcome is virtually arbitrary. This means that appraisals of railway
investments cannot be compared to each other, and opens the door for
strategic behaviour by stakeholders conducting seemingly objective
cost-benefit analysis. We explain and illustrate the nature and extent of
the problem, and discuss the practical consequences for appraisal
comparability and conscious or unconscious misrepresentation. Finally, we
discuss possible objective principles for appraisal timetable construction
and contrast this with current practice, which is shown to be likely to
exaggerate investment benefits in an appraisal.
Keywords: Cost-benefit analysis; Appraisal; Railway investments; Timetables; (follow links to similar papers)
JEL-Codes: R40; (follow links to similar papers)
21 pages, October 28, 2013
Previously published in: Proceedings of the 2011 Conference and the Summer School, Stockholm, Sweden, June 29, 2011. And in: TRB 91st Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers DVD, 2012, Paper no: 12-2124.
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- This paper is published as:
Eliasson, Jonas and Maria Börjesson, (2014), 'On timetable assumptions in railway investment appraisal', Transport Policy, Vol. 36, pages 118-126
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