Oxera today unveiled a study for the Rail Working Group that assesses the direct microeconomic benefits from the Luxembourg Rail Protocol, which will save €13.9bn for nine Commonwealth of Independent States using the 1520 gauge. The Protocol, which is expected to come into force in 2019, is a new global treaty that will make it much easier and cheaper to finance railway rolling stock.

The Protocol will make the repossession of collateral on the default or insolvency of debtors in the rail sector easier, thus reducing risk for creditors. It will also improve and standardise legal and operational frameworks across borders and, for the first time, introduce a global system for uniquely identifying rolling stock. Because it has by far the largest fleet of rolling stock, the Russian Federation will be the principal beneficiary and will save €11.6bn, which represents a present value of the reduction in transaction and financing costs, as estimated by Oxera, of around €80 per person.

The study does not measure the wider benefits of the Protocol, but a positive effect on the environment is expected, as well as social and economic benefits for the community as a whole.

‘This group of states is already playing a key role in the development of the rail silk routes between Europe and Asia,’ said Rail Working Group Chairman, Howard Rosen. ‘The Luxembourg Protocol will provide new and welcome security to private creditors financing rolling stock operating in the 1520 rail system as well as protect operators moving locomotives and wagons across borders.’