How much money is needed?

presented on RailTach conference:

TRACK ACCESS CHARGES SUMMIT 12 APRIL 2016 – BERN

The recast of charging rules is new for Baltic States’ railways, where due to the favourable geographic position a full cost application without detalization was possible. Although, a big number of relevant studies on the issue was made in EU, all of them covered only 1435mm railways with primarily passenger transportation. This report has been made in order to understand the impact of train operating with primarily freight transportation.

The differences in organization of passenger and freight transportation shall affect the calculation of direct costs on all steps required by EC’s implementation acts. The rail infrastructure construction, renewal and maintenance requirements and costs are related to forecasted environment circumstances and operating volume and could not be changed in a short run. Deviations from predicted traffic volume can significantly impact the final result of infrastructure operating, but not necessary in the same year: if the traffic volume was less then assessed, the operational costs can be equilibrated in longer time period; otherwise, increasing traffic trouble infrastructure operation and dramatically raise maintenance and renewal works in the future.

There are too many parameters that experts consider need to be taken into account when modeling direct unit costs. The econometric expertise should be done for each infrastructure operational field separately due to different causation.
The impact of trains is clearly not coherent in the different networks and throughout the network too. At least these parameters should be taken into account when normalizing characteristics of network: number of switches, brides, stations track, side track, number of track, electrified track, automatic signaling track, traffic intense; life cycle period, number of damages in previous period. Additionally for comparison different networks the following parameters should be taken into account: purchasing power parity, allowed axle load, length of trains, gauges, speed, time scheduling, electrification and signaling types.