The initiative to make this report emerged at a course in transportation economics and environmental issues held by lecturer Arne Karyd. We became interested in Stockholm – Arlanda airport, owned by the government through the Swedish Civil Aviation Administration (LFV), and the relation between its environmental restrictions and the railway connection to Stockholm city. The constraining environmental ceiling is the one for carbon dioxide imposed by the Environmental Court. Present forecasts indicate that Arlanda will manage to stay below the maximum limit only until around the year 2009 without being forced to restrain the number of aircraft movements.
Surface transport emissions are included in the “bubble” limiting total emissions. The emission ceiling includes aircraft LTO-cycles (landing to take-off and associated taxiing), passenger and employee ground transportation, engine testing, heating, cargo and fuel transport and internal traffic. The focus and objective of this master thesis is to examine whether Arlanda would be able to meet its environmental demands by using the zeroemitting railway connection more efficiently, thus reducing car and bus transport. The aim is to calculate the emission-reducing effects of a higher rail share in surface transport and, if these should prove significant, to estimate how many more years Arlanda may stay below the maximum limit. This issue is highly topical as in 2004, Arlanda filed an appeal for relaxation of the ceiling with the Environmental Court while LFV let an opportunity to take control of the monopoly train operator slip. The results in this thesis indicate the existence of other solutions than lifting the ceiling.
From its inauguration in late 1999, the railway to Arlanda has not been used in an optimized fashion. The main reason is that the Swedish government traded the right to utilize the railway to a group of private contractors, forming the A-Train AB, against a (surprisingly low) contribution to the investment cost. This build-transfer-operate project was the first major infrastructure project in Sweden where private capital helped financing, and has not seen many successors. The end result is a situation where the train operator A-Train AB exerts monopoly rights to a railway it does not own, applies fares far above those found at similar rail services and charges other train operators a considerable fee for every passenger they leave or pick up at Arlanda. Consequently, railway utilization falls very far short of the original forecasts. A crucial point in this thesis is that the critical views put forward are not in any way aimed at A-Train or any other train operator. The operators are all subject to conditions created by the myopic policy applied before construction started.
Our approach has been to study a large amount of literature to learn about the background of the infrastructure project, why the environmental demands were imposed in the first place and what they mean. Other topics have been railway capacity analysis methods and a survey of external forecasts and suggested actions. The thesis also includes a survey of various forecasts of air and ground travel. A huge difference is found between forecasts from the early 1990’s and the actual outcome. The gap, explained mainly by the very high train fares, indicates the socio-economic cost to society of the BTO solution (Build, Trasfer, Operate).
Analyses and calculations of different scenarios created from the literature survey constitute the main part of this master thesis. In the scenarios we assume that action is taken to entice more passengers to use rail transport; the actual content of these actions is beyond our scope. Then calculations are made to determine the level of carbon dioxide emissions in each scenario. The baseline in the scenarios is the year 2003, the latest year with available emission data. Scenarios are applied to years 2008, 2020 and 2030, beyond which there are no passenger forecasts available. Tests have been done to find out which year the different scenarios break the carbon dioxide limit.
In the first scenario, measures have been applied to make Arlanda Express operate at 100 % of its seating (not total) capacity and as a result, the parallel bus service cannot compete and leaves the route. This is the conclusion made by the National Rail Administration in its 1990 forecast, when the rail service was expected to be maintained by the government in a socio-economic and environmentally optimized fashion. Still, in this scenario the ceiling will be passed around year 2009, despite fully loaded trains. In the second scenario, the bus service maintains its line but relocates its Stockholm terminal to the east, where a sufficient market still can be found. Arlanda Express is still fully booked. This makes it possible to keep the carbon dioxide level below the ceiling until year 2013.
Scenarios 1 and 2 are based on increased train utilization. In the third scenario, increased track utilization is introduced in the form of a planned commuter train from Uppsala to Upplands Väsby via Arlanda. The commuter train from Stockholm Central station to Märsta adjusts its schedule to enable easy transfer at Upplands Väsby. This will highly increase train travel and with the assumptions made in this scenario, the ceiling will not be reached before year 2019. The forth scenario introduces high-capacity trains on the rail services of Scenario 3. A 1- 2 year grace is attained.
However, the number of aircraft movements at Arlanda is restricted to 372,000 and the airport has not applied for a relaxation of this restriction. According to the current forecast, movements will exceed the restriction in the year 2017. Assuming that Arlanda cannot evade this restriction, our scenarios 3 and 4 would enable the airport to stay below the emission ceiling indefinitely.