Assessing the costs and benefits of a speed limit for freight trains during night-time operations : a generic model for the Netherlands

Bingel, Christopher (2020-03)

Thesis (MCom)--Stellenbosch University, 2020.

Thesis

ENGLISH SUMMARY : Noise pollution is a severe issue for numerous individuals, especially when it occurs consistently and throughout the entire day. As a major source of emissions, transportation has long been in the focus of policy makers hoping to alleviate affected persons from negative effects on health and wellbeing. In such an attempt, the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management plans to reduce the maximum allowed speed for freight trains between 11pm and 7am to either 40 km/h or 60 km/h. In order to assess and compare the total economic advantages and disadvantages of such a policy, the Ministry commissioned a study to explore the resulting effects. This research thesis therefore set out to answer the questions if and how much a nightly speed limit reduction for freight trains in the Netherlands will reduce the noise levels and influence the operations of these services. Distinguishing between three different production systems (block trains, wagonload trains and combined transport) and different transportation distances, it is found that operating costs will increase between 0.3% and 5.0%. It is expected that as freight trains becomes more costly to operate, consignors will opt for transportation alternatives on roads and inland waterways. Thus, the second purpose of this study is to determine the demand behaviour and a potential modal shift in the Dutch rail freight market. In order to do so, 13 industry experts from railway operators, freight forwarders and consignors were interviewed. From these interviews, quantitative and qualitative indications were used to calculate price elasticities for rail freight services in the relevant market. These elasticities, again depending on the production system, the transport distance and the level of cost increase, vary between 0.1 and 2.6, which is consistent with previous research. The final question to answer concerns the feasibility of a case study. In an economic cost-benefit analysis, this paper investigates a train line between the Dutch towns of Meteren and Boxtel. It is found that although noise and air pollutant emissions related to freight trains decrease, there are negative effects outweighing the benefits. During the time period from 2030 to 2040, total costs exceed the total benefits by around 3.73 €m (alternative 1, reduction to 40 km/h) and 1.35 €m in 2019 values. This corresponds to a benefit-cost ratio of 0.274 and 0.353 respectively. This paper shows that a speed reduction does in deed reduce costs to society that stem from noise emitted by freight trains. However, this measure has side effects, as traffic volumes will shift to trucks and barges as the railway freight product becomes more and more unattractive. Operational cost increases and external costs (e.g. higher air pollution by trucks or higher probability of accidents) outweigh the benefits to society. Therefore, the author recommends to reject the suggested speed limit reduction for freight trains between 11pm and 7am in the Netherlands.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Geraasbesoedeling is 'n ernstige probleem vir talle individue, veral as dit konstant deur die hele dag voorkom. Vervoer is een van die hoof bronne van emissies en beleidmakers fokus al lank daarop om diegene wat geraak word, te verlig van negatiewe gevolge vir hul gesondheid en welstand. In so 'n poging beplan die Nederlandse Ministerie van Infrastruktuur en Waterbestuur om die maksimum toegelate snelheid van goederetreine tussen 23:00 en 07:00 tot 40 km / h of 60 km / h te verminder. Ten einde die totale ekonomiese voor- en nadele van so 'n beleid te beoordeel en te vergelyk, het die Ministerie 'n ondersoek gelas om die gevolge daarvan te ondersoek. Die doel van hierdie studie is om vas te stel of die nagtelike vermindering van die snelheid vir goederetreine in Nederland die geraasvlakke sal verlaag en om tebepaal wat die impak hiervan sal wees op die verskeie vragvervoerdienste. In hierdie studie word daar onderskei tussen drie verskillende produksiestelsels (blokkeer treine, waentrein en gekombineerde vervoer) asook verskillende vervoerafstande. Die studie toon dat bedryfskoste tussen 0,3% en 5,0% sal styg weens die vermindering in snelhede. Na verwagting, oorweeg versenders ander vervoeralternatiewe op paaie en binnelandse waterweë namate goederetreine duurder word. Die tweede doel van hierdie studie is om die vraaggedrag en 'n moontlike modale verskuiwing in die Nederlandse spoorvragmark te bepaal. Om dit te kan doen, is 'n onderhoud met 13 kundiges in die bedryf van spoorweëoperateurs, vragversendings agente en versenders gevoer. Uit hierdie onderhoude is kwantitatiewe en kwalitatiewe aanduidings gebruik om pryselastisiteite vir spoorvragdienste in die betrokke mark te bereken. Afhangend van die produksiestelsel, die vervoerafstand en die kosteverhoging wissel hierdie elastisiteite tussen 0,1 en 2,6, wat in lyn is met vorige navorsing. Laastens word die lewensvatbaarheid van 'n gevallestudie beantwoord deur n ekonomiese koste-voordeel-analise vir ‘n treinlyn tussen die Nederlandse gemeentes Meteren en Boxtel te ondersoek. ‘n Nagtelike spoedbeperking van 40km/h en 60km/h vir vragvervoer word gesien as alternatiewe om die geraasbesoedeling te verminder. Uitsette toon dat die uitstoot van geraas en lugbesoedeling wat met goederetreine verband hou verminder, maar dat dit nie die kostes van die alternatiewe oorskrei nie. Gedurende die periode van 2030 tot 2040 oorskry die totale koste die totale voordele met ongeveer 3,73 € m (alternatief 1, vermindering tot 40 km / h) en 1,35 € m in 2019-waardes met n voordeel-koste-verhouding van onderskeidelik 0.274 en 0.353. Hierdie artikel toon dat 'n spoedvermindering in akte die koste vir die samelewing verminder as gevolg van geraas deur goederetreine. Hierdie maatreël het egter newe-effekte, aangesien verkeersvolumes na vragmotors en skepe verskuif namate die spoorwegproduk meer onaantreklik word. Die verhoging in bedryfskoste en eksterne koste (bv. Hoër lugbesoedeling deur vragmotors of groter waarskynlikheid van ongelukke) weeg swaarder as die voordele vir die samelewing. Daarom beveel die skrywer aan om die voorgestelde vermindering van die snelheidsbeperking vir goederetreine tussen 23:00 en 07:00 in Nederland te verwerp.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/108325
This item appears in the following collections: