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Transport and welfare consequences of infrastructure investment : a case study for the Betuweroute

Listed author(s):
  • Koetse, M.J.

    (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Faculteit der Economische Wetenschappen en Econometrie (Free University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics Sciences, Business Administration and Economitrics)

  • Rouwendal, J.

This paper presents a study on appraisal of the Betuweroute, a 160 kilometre dedicated freight railway line connecting the port of Rotterdam with the German Ruhr area. The Betuweroute is an interesting example of a major investment in railroads for several reasons. Political decision making on the Betuwe project and calculations on its profitability were based on questionable assumptions, the two most important ones being that freight transport by trucks would become substantially more expensive, and that inland waterways would not be used more intensively for freight transport. Even though construction is completed, it is still unclear to what extent the route is going to be used in the future. Even though this may suggest that the Betuweroute is financially unviable, it should be noted that it provides a potentially important link in the transport network that links the major harbours of Hamburg, Rotterdam and Antwerp with the German hinterland. If the line could – in the near or more remote future – attract a large share of transit freight, as was expected in official project appraisals, it will be of considerable importance for the competitive position of the port of Rotterdam relative to Hamburg and Antwerp. In the paper we provide a brief review of the history of the project and its place in the freight transport network of north-western Europe. Then we proceed to a formal analysis of the impact of pricing of the various modes on the appraisal of the Betuweroute, based on the MOLINO model. The network we use includes the ports of Rotterdam, Antwerp and Hamburg and distinguishes between transport by road, railway and inland waterways. Since the Betuweroute connects Rotterdam to the Ruhr area, we use transport to and from this area as the driving force of the transport flows on this network. We present model simulations for scenario’s with and without the Betuweroute and with and without marginal social costs pricing.

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Paper provided by VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics in its series Serie Research Memoranda with number 0012.

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Date of creation: 2008
Handle: RePEc:vua:wpaper:2008-12
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  1. Smith, W. Spencer & Hall, Fred L. & Montgomery, Frank O., 1996. "Comparing the speed-flow relationship for motorways with new data from the M6," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 89-101, March.
  2. H E Haralambides, 2002. "Competition, Excess Capacity, and the Pricing of Port Infrastructure," Maritime Economics & Logistics, Palgrave Macmillan;International Association of Maritime Economists (IAME), vol. 4(4), pages 323-347, December.
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