Comparing the Efficiency of Western European Rail and Road Services

  • Fritz Voigt
Part of the International Economic Association Publications book series (IEA)


This paper compares the efficiency of road and rail services from the point of view of the whole economy rather than of narrow financial preoccupations. It would be desirable to quantify the full macroeconomic costs and benefits of modes of transport, but this is not possible. Instead, we use a number of different indicators of quantitative and qualitative aspects of efficiency, basing the analysis on cross-section data for the year 1976, for the nine states of the EEC. These data are given in full in a large table as an Appendix to the paper. We will discuss in turn the results of the analysis of (a) traffic volumes, (b) networks, (c) vehicles, (d) quality of service (speed, capacity, origin-destination matching, reliability, frequency, safety and comfort), (e) energy, (f) environment, and (g) demand factors. Lastly we draw some conclusions for future development.


Traffic Volume Road Transport Demand Factor Ground Distance Rail Service 
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Copyright information

© International Economic Association 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fritz Voigt

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