Challenges of Track Access Charges Model Redesign
It has been exactly 20 years since the common grounds for the design of track access charges (TAC) were laid for the European railways by the publication of Directive 2001/14/EC. However, these grounds were defined broadly, thus resulting in significant divergence both in the models applied by countries and during the model redesign within one country over the course of time. The participants in the process of charge system redesign includes all stakeholders from country’s railway sector (infrastructure manager, train operating companies, the ministries responsible for transport, finance and economy, government, and regulatory bodies). Their opinions and requirements are often opposed, and they all need to be acknowledged simultaneously. This paper aims to solve the issue of ensuring continuity in the charge model redesign while achieving a balance between the requirements of all stakeholders. Moreover, it tackles the issue of producing a sustainable long-term TAC model by using survey methods and statistical analysis. The proposed approach was tested in practice during the access charge model redesign for the railways of Montenegro. The results show the importance of continual enhancement in TAC model development as one of the challenges and key precursors for the harmonization of all stakeholders’ requirements.
network management; track access charges; model; infrastructure; gap analysis; survey; sustainability