Rail Infrastructure Charges in Europe
This paper reviews results of a survey of rail infrastructure charges in Europe, presenting evidence on the structure and level of charges across 23 countries, and on the rationale behind the charges. A wide variety of both structure and level of charges is found, and it appears there is a range of explanations for this, including differences in the nature and mix of rail traffic, differences in the willingness and ability of governments to provide subsidies, and continued lack of consensus on the measurement of the marginal cost of infrastructure use. Recommendations on a sensible structure for rail infrastructure charges are given, although the need for further research is also acknowledged. The diversity of approach poses problems particularly for international rail freight, and there is a strong argument for the development of a specific set of international rail freight tariffs. © 2005 LSE and the University of Bath
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