Passengers will not go switching from cars to high speed rail en masse if carriers get compensation for forced waits or if crossings are built

14 september 2015 | Pult Upravleniya

The emergence of high speed rail may serve as a catalyst for a complete overhaul of the entire transport market. PwC prognosticates that high speed rail will draw about 9 million passengers a year from ordinary passenger rail systems, about 5 million from airlines and another 3.5 million from road transport.

Mikhail Nizov
Mikhail Nizov
Department for Sectors of Economy

“Passengers will not go switching from cars to high speed rail en masse if carriers get compensation for forced waits or if crossings are built,” Mikhail Nizov, the Adviser to the Department for Sectors of Economy of the Analytical Center told Pult Upravleniya magazine, “conversely, the distances covered by regional bus routes will shrink if labor controls are introduced to ensure bus drivers get enough rest as per international requirements.” What is interesting is that even given the same parameters of modes of transport the behavior of passengers in various regions and even in various cities in the same region can be completely different.

As for ordinary rail transport, at this stage it would be preferable for it to lose some passenger traffic to high speed rail than to continue sharing tracks with high speed trains such as the Sapsan. As long as high speed rail systems do not have tracks of their own, both high speed trains and ordinary trains have to share tracks with preference often being given to high speed trains at the expensive of ordinary traffic. It is not always the best course of action from the point of view of passengers. The standard practice is for high speed trains to offer express point to point service with no stops at smaller stations, but since the rail system still has to perform the social function, they have to introduce additional routes. This, in turn, increases the time of travel, reducing the benefits of high speed trains and driving up infrastructure and ticket costs, the expert notes. “As a result the foreign built Sapsan high-speed train running on modernized tracks between Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod is a mere 10 minutes faster than a Russian built ER200 high speed train,” Mr. Nizov noted.

Source: Pult Upravleniya