Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working papers in Transport Economics,
CTS - Centre for Transport Studies Stockholm (KTH and VTI)

No 2016:26: Estimating the marginal cost of different vehicle types on rail infrastructure

Andrew S.J. Smith (), Kristofer Odolinski (), Saeed Hossein Nia (), Per-Anders Jönsson , Sebastian Stichel (), Simon Iwnicki () and Phillip Wheat
Additional contact information
Andrew S.J. Smith: Institute for Transport Studies (ITS) and Leeds University Business School, Postal: Centrum för Transportstudier (CTS), Teknikringen 10, 100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
Kristofer Odolinski: VTI, Postal: Centrum för Transportstudier (CTS), Teknikringen 10, 100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
Saeed Hossein Nia: KTH, Postal: Centrum för Transportstudier (CTS), Teknikringen 10, 100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
Per-Anders Jönsson: KTH, Postal: Centrum för Transportstudier (CTS), Teknikringen 10, 100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
Sebastian Stichel: KTH, Postal: Centrum för Transportstudier (CTS), Teknikringen 10, 100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
Simon Iwnicki: Institute of Railway Research (IRR), University of Huddersfield, Postal: Centrum för Transportstudier (CTS), Teknikringen 10, 100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
Phillip Wheat: Institute for Transport Studies (ITS) and Leeds University Business School, Postal: Centrum för Transportstudier (CTS), Teknikringen 10, 100 44 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: In this paper we combine engineering and economic methods to estimate the relative cost of damage mechanisms on the Swedish rail infrastructure. The former method is good at predicting damage from traffic, while the latter is suitable for establishing a relationship between damage and cost. We exploit the best features of both methods in a two-stage approach and demonstrate its applicability for rail infrastructure charging. Our estimations are based on 143 track sections comprising about 11 000 km of tracks. We demonstrate how the estimated relative costs of damage mechanisms can be used in order to calculate the marginal wear and tear cost of different vehicle types. The results are relevant for infrastructure managers in Europe who desire to differentiate their track access charges such that each vehicle pays its short run-marginal wear and tear cost, which can create a more efficient use of the rail infrastructure.

Keywords: Marginal cost; Rail infrastructure; Maintenance; Access charging; Track damage; Econometric methods; Engineering simulation

JEL-codes: L92; R48

38 pages, December 9, 2016

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