During the last 15 years UIC has sought to provide qualitative work on LICB (Lasting Infrastructure Cost Benchmarking ) with the intention to serve members’ needs and the new Asset Management Group, established three years ago within the Rail System Forum (former Infrastructure Forum)
The database contains cost data on maintenance and renewal provided by 14 countries and is managed confidentially, available only for the participating members.
During this period these members have developed the necessary tools to be able to compare and review the costs and trends in annual expenditure in the different organisations and to make their own independent assessment as to their standing, based on their specific knowledge of their national railway environments.
The examination of costs of Infrastructure Maintenance and Renewal represents just one part of a complex equation involving interaction between rail vehicles and infrastructure and the decision-making processes that seeks to define an optimum approach to Reliability, Availability, Maintenance and Safety (RAMS).
LICB is now in a new state of development, by reshaping the methodology and implementation of a new IT system.
To extend the cost survey, the LICB Group invited countries from Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) to join the project and to provide their data for LICB.
Given that the experience, methodology and IT tools already exist elsewhere, implementing the survey in this group of countries will facilitate their integration in the project.
A number of countries were contacted and answered positively to this invitation, including:
Croatia (HZ), Romania (CFR), Hungary (MAV), Czech Republic (SZDC),Greece (OSE), with Poland (PLK) yet to reply.
The first meeting started with Croatia. The HZ representatives invited the LICB team to provide them with the skills and information necessary to facilitate their joining the group.
In Croatia we were honoured to be received by Mr. Tihomir Spanic, Executive Director of Infrastructure Access (HZ), and two experts from his services: Mrs. Ivana Bogovic and Mladen Brezovec.
The visits will continue next year to other new members.
What are the reasons for joining the LICB project?
Mainly to help members address the following issues:
- Pressure on railways to demonstrate their costs and performance, in relation
to the achievements of other railway networks and other modes.
- Budgetary constraints require a sound business case to support requests for
higher levels of investment in order to secure future long-term benefits.
- Political issues are feeding a debate on infrastructure provision:
- Transparency of access charging and accounting
- State aid and multi-annual contracts
- Recognition of external costs
- Infrastructure investment gaps
We expect others members to join LICB.