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Rail transport

Industry Commission inquiry report

Signed 21 / 08 / 1991

The report contains the findings of the Industry Commission's public inquiry.

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  • Contents

Volume 1

Cover, Copyright, Signing Page, Terms of Reference, Contents, Abbreviations Used in Volume 1, Overview and Recommendations

1 Introduction
1.1 Origin and scope of the inquiry
1.2 Conduct of the inquiry
1.3 Structure of this report

2 The scope for and benefits of rail reform
2.1 Role of transport in the economy
2.2 Trends in rail transport
2.3 Rail tasks and opportunities for substitution with other modes
2.4 Problems in railways
2.5 Ongoing rail reform
2.6 Potential economy-wide effects of reform: ORANI analysis

3 Relationships between governments and railways
3.1 Historical overview
3.2 Railway legislation
3.3 Reform of the relationship between governments and their railways

4 The case for government intervention in railways
4.1 Introduction
4.2 Economies of scale and natural monopoly
4.3 External costs and benefits
4.4 Equity objectives
4.5 Community services

5 Competitive, environmental and social aspects of rail and road transport
5.1 Equitable competition between modes
5.2 Externalities
5.3 Urban infrastructure and land use
5.4 Regional implications of changed rail services

6 Railway financing and capital investment
6.1 Railway deficits
6.2 Investment decisions and asset management
6.3 Sources of funds
6.4 Financing of rail and road transport
6.5 Commonwealth and state roles

7 Management and labour productivity
7.1 Introduction
7.2 Management and productivity
7.3 Specific labour productivity issues
7.4 Workplace reductions and productivity

8 Urban passenger services
8.1 Urban networks
8.2 Current levels of cost recovery
8.3 Assessment of arguments for subsidising urban rail services
8.4 Who should pay?
8.5 Costs
8.6 Revenue
8.7 Conclusion

9 Non-urban passenger services
9.1 Non-urban passenger networks
9.2 Cost recovery
9.3 Assessment of the arguments for subsidising urban rail services
9.4 User should pay
9.5 Improving efficiency and service
9.6 Fares

10 Bulk commodity freight
10.1 Description of bulk rail freight tasks
10.2 Regulations and restrictions on mode of operation
10.3 Rail freight charges for grains
10.4 Rail freight charges for coal and other minerals
10.5 Operational efficiency
10.6 Other issues

11 Non-bulk freight
11.1 Non-bulk rail freight tasks
11.2 Intrasystem freight
11.3 Intersystem freight
11.4 Intersystem efficiency
11.5 National Rail Corporation

12 Options for structural reform
12.1 Introduction
12.2 The case for increased competition within the rail industry
12.3 A national rail network corporation
12.4 Overcoming impediments to competition
12.5 Regulations to facilitate competitive conditions
12.6 Amalgamation of government railways


Volume 2

Cover, Copyright, Contents, Abbreviations Used in Volume 2

A List of participants

B Rail system maps

C Statistics of the operation and use of Australian railways

D Recent development in rail reform in Australia
D.1 State Rail Authority of New South Wales (SRA)
D.2 Public Transport Corporation (PTC) - Victoria
D.3 Queensland Railways (QR)
D.4 Westrail
D.5 State Transport Authority of South
D.6 Australian National (AN)
D.7 Railway Industrial Council (RIC)
D.8 National Freight Initiative (NFI)
D.9 July 1991 special Premiers' Conference
D.10 Very Fast Train (VFT)
D.11 Royal Commission into Grain Storage, Handling and Transport
References for Appendix D

E Total factor productivity and rates of return in Australia
E.1 Methodology
E.2 Data sources
E.3 The total factor productivity of Australian railways
E.4 Partial productivity performance
E.5 Adjusting TFP for output effects
E.6 Railway real rates of return
E.7 Conclusions
References for Appendix E

F Constitutional background

G Social cost considerations
G.1 Cost recovery
G.2 Energy efficiency
G.3 Atmospheric pollution and greenhouse gases
G.4 Noise pollution
G.5 Accident costs
G.6 Congestion
References for Appendix G

H Railway labour market characteristics
H.1 Employment
H.2 Age distribution
H.3 Awards
H.4 Skill distribution
H.5 Labour productivity
References for Appendix H

I Railways in other countries
I.1 New Zealand
I.2 Japan
I.3 United States
I.4 Canada
I.5 Europe
I.6 Sweden
I.7 Great Britain
References for Appendix I

J Choosing the appropriate rate of return for coal rail investment
J.1 Introduction
J.2 Risk and uncertainty
J.3 The Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM)
J.4 The CAPM under income tax
J.5 Estimates of the essential parameters
J.6 Estimates of required rate of return
J.7 Conclusion
References for Appendix J

K The effects of adopting international best practice in Australia's rail systems
A report prepared by Travers Morgan Pty Ltd for the Industry Commission inquiry into Rail Transport

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