Ein systemischer Gestaltungsansatz für ein wettbewerbsfähiges Schienengüterverkehrssystem in Österreich

Translated title of the contribution: A Systemic Design Approach for a Competitive Rail Freight System in Austria

Christian W. Flotzinger

Research output: Types of ThesesDoctoral Thesis


A close examination identifies a distinction between the development, the political guidelines and the objectives regarding the modal split of rail freight transport. In particular the system properties of truck transports do not fulfill today’s requirements of the shipping and receiving economy. The interaction between the different, relevant variables clearly suggests market advantages in road transport, which is an alarming sign towards sustainable future development. There is an urgent need to discover effective measures to counteract this progress. So far, every political effort against the market focus on road transport failed its purpose. However, a modal-shift from road to rail is a necessary requirement to realize a sustainable freight transport system. In order to obtain significant modal-shift movements in favor of rail freight transport, new fundamental and system adequate solutions are required. As a consequence the objective of this work is to identify and analyze the determining competitive factors and critical leverage factors of rail freight transport for the purpose to influence systematically and to regulate specifically in order (1) to maintain a significant increase in rail freight transport volume, and (2) to design a new approach for a competitive rail freight system. To achieve these objectives, a holistic and systemic design approach is pursued, so that the whole complexity of the regarding issues is considered. This comprehensive approach allows to model the large structure of impact in a holistic way and provides an insight into the dynamic structure of different interactions. The methodical implementation is based on System Dynamics. In the first instance the qualitative modeling of the system structure is applied, building on these results, the quantitative analysis of the system behavior follows. The latter focuses on the relevant context of modal-shift from road to rail by the discrepancy between the logistic processes of the shipping industry and the production possibilities of rail freight transport. The results support the shape of a competitive rail freight system. Due to the model-specific-properties a competitive rail freight system needs logistics structures, which are adequate and clocked for rail freight transportation. A change of the whole system to rail-related structures requires a rethinking of all involved stakeholders. To implement the idea of rail-related structures, system-changing strategies and solutions have to be coordinated between the involved stakeholders of the identified design areas and should consist of a bundle of agreed and well-regulated measures. In order to achieve the goal of a system change, transport policy plays a key role. As a "leader of change" it has the main position in opinion shaping and system transforming. Consequently these measures would accomplish true-cost pricing in land transport step by step and empower a complete redefinition of the competitive position of rail.
Translated title of the contributionA Systemic Design Approach for a Competitive Rail Freight System in Austria
Original languageGerman
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Schienengüterverkehr
  • Systemmodellierung
  • nachhaltige Entwicklung
  • Logistikstrukturen


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