European freight rolling stock fleet size in 2050 in light of the Transport White Paper 2011

Dewan Md Zahurul Islam*, Ross Jackson, Mark Robinson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The European Transport White Paper 2011 sets high modal shift targets from road freight to rail 50% by 2050. The objective of this paper is to determine the rolling stock fleet size and type up to the year 2050 and associated challenges for stakeholders. Considering the White paper targets, three scenarios are considered; a) Business as usual or Reference Scenario - extrapolation of current trends without major policy change; b) White Paper 2011 Low Scenario (WPL) based on a partial implementation of the modal shift targets and c) White Paper 2011 High Scenario (WPH) based on the full implementation of modal shift targets. To determine the future fleet size, the current paper also conducts a sensitivity analysis assuming 60% productivity level as a base line. The study finds, among others, that significantly more rolling stock (in particular flat wagons, covered wagons and covered hopper wagons) as well as improved asset utilisation will be vital to facilitate the transport of increased freight volume. A unified rail freight system starting with nine Rail Freight Corridors and cooperation among the rail freight operators, wagons manufacturers and companies involved in leasing and hiring wagons will be very important to achieve the modal shift.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-210
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Rail Transport Planning and Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes


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