Study to Determine the Transaction Costs of Different Incentive Models for Retrofitting the Freight Wagon Fleet with Composite Brake Blocks
The noise of rail traffic has received increasing attention from railways, industry, politics, associations and the people affected. While in the past most investment was put into noise protection measures on infrastructure and buildings (e.g. noise protection walls), new studies show that investment in noise protection on rolling stock is more efficient from a cost-benefit point of view. The main cause of rail freight traffic noise is cast iron brake blocks which roughen up the wheels. This leads to unevenness in the treads of the wheelsets and as a result to increased noise when running. With new types of composite brake blocks there are technical solutions available which can produce a significant reduction in the noise level of the wagon fleet.
At present different promotional programmes and incentive models are being discussed on the European and national state levels which aim to provide for a quick and comprehensive retrofitting of the complete wagon fleet. The range of models standing in the public domain extends from direct funding for retrofitting programmes through bonus models that depend on the distance wagons run to noise differentiated track access charge systems.
Based on their experience with the programme applied in Switzerland most sector players favour a direct grant for the retrofitting paid by the respective member state. Contrary, the European Commission thinks that a noise differentiated track access charge is the most suitable model as was clear from the 'Recast to the first railway package of the European Union', pub-lished in autumn 2010. In this document the possibility of noise differentiated track access charge was expressly mentioned. Representatives of the railway industry in Germany proposed an alternative concept at the beginning of 2010: A mileage related bonus for converted freight wagons paid directly to the wagon keepers.
To determine the transaction cost associated with these incentive models in case they where placed in operation the Verbands Deutscher Verkehrsunter-nehmen e.V. (VDV), [Association of German Transport Companies] the Vereinigung der Privatgüterwagen-Interessenten (VPI Hamburg), [Union of Private Freight Wagon Companies], Ahaus-Alstätter Eisenbahn Cargo AG (AAE), DB Netz AG, DB Schenker Rail GmbH, the European Rail Freight Association (ERFA) and the International Union of Railways (UIC) have commissioned this study.