Etablering av konkurrerande snabbtågstrafik på Västra stambanan: översyn ur marknadens synvinkel

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Joakim Ahlberg
Anna Johansson

As of October 2010 the railway market is liberalised. As a result, other operators than SJ could apply for track capacity also for long-distance passenger services, and the timetable for 2012 was the first timetable that was affected by the liberalisation. The Swedish railway network has, by definition, capacity restrains. The Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket) allocates capacity among those railway traffic operators that has applied for track capacity in the annual capacity allocation process. In the capacity allocation process for the 2014 timetable, four operators applied for capacity for long-distance high-speed train traffic between Gothenburg and Stockholm. In several cases the operators applied for the same train paths, which put Trafikverket’s applying of the process, the use of coordination and prioritization criteria, to the test for the first time since the liberalisation. VTI has interviewed the three largest of the above operators to receive information about how they experienced the capacity allocation process leading to the timetable for 2014 and to get their views on the possible obstacles that may exist for establishing a new operator on the railway market. The study was commissioned by the Swedish Transport Agency as a basis for their market surveillance in the area. The operators that are challenging SJ perceive that the capacity allocation process does not meet the requirement for competitive neutrality and non-discrimination. Both operators see the need for a more transparent process, with priority criteria that provide a more predictable outcome and which is carried out by the help of computerized tools so that the process can be implemented more efficiently and provide a more effective outcome. They argue that the construction of a timetable is so complex that it is difficult to, as now being done, manually make the most effective adjustments in the timetable necessary due to competing applications. The challenging operators therefore call for a review of the process to assess in which areas it can be improved.

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