Knapphet på järnväg: sammanställning av två promemorior

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Mats Andersson

The use of market mechanisms for timetabling of trains is discussed in three different time perspectives in the report. Motives for charging for booking and de-registering trains in the upcoming time table is discussed, too. The point of departure is that a substantial number of trains in a timetable are never operated.

Three different time perspectives on the basic timetabling problem are discussed. The short term approach would be to use a bidding mechanism for solving remaining conflicts. It is suggested that a one shot, sealed bid second price procedure is developed. This means that bids from the two or more bidders for each conflict are submitted once and for all and that the highest bidder pays a price which equals the second highest bid. There are strong reasons to believe that this would work to guarantee a truth-revealing process resulting in an efficient allocation.

It is further recommended that posted prices for use of bottlenecks is developed in the medium term. In the long run, it is necessary to develop an optimization algorithm which is capable to solve the computationally challenging problem of establish a value maximizing solution to the allocation of competing demands for track access. As a complement, a mechanism for efficient bidding needs to be developed in order to provide incentives for operators to participate in the process with truth revealing bids.

The point of departure for the second document is that a substantial number of (freight) trains in a timetable are never operated. The reason may be that the service provider’s ex ante estimates of demand may turn out to be wrong, i.e. that actual demand is lower than the initial estimate. There is a simultaneous pressure for new slots which emerges after that a time table has been established. The document makes suggestions for a system of reservation charges and charges for cancelling trains on short notice.

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