Armenian Railways: Five Year Business Plan

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Armenian Railways:

Five Year Business Plan

October 2000

Armenian Railways:

Five Year Business Plan

Prepared For
Armenian Railways


The World Bank

Prepared By
Martha B. Lawrence

Richard G. Sharp

John H. Winner
harral winner thompson sharp lawrence, inc.

2111 Wilson Blvd., Suite 700

Arlington, Virginia 22201


Tel: 703-527-2955

Fax: 703-526-0217


October 2000

Table of Contents

1 Structure & Organization of Armenian Railways 1

1.1 Introduction 1

1.2 Organizational Structure 2

2 Marketing & Pricing 4

2.1 Introduction 4

2.2 Pricing & Policy Issues 7

2.3 Traffic Projections 11

3 Operations and Cost Reduction Opportunities 14

3.1 Introduction 14

3.2 Transportation Services 15

3.3 Infrastructure Services 21

3.4 Rollingstock Services 26

4 Financial Forecast 34

4.1 Financial Model 34

4.2 Financial Forecast 35

4.3 Rollingstock CJSC 37

Appendix A: Traffic Forecast 58

Market Segmentation for Forecast 58

Base Case 60

Open Borders Case 62

Appendix B: Financial Model 66

Transportation CJSC 67

Rollingstock CJSC 68

Infrastructure CJSC 69

Appendix C: Methodology for Measuring Profitability by Line of Business 71

Revenues 72

Rollingstock Costs 72

Infrastructure Costs 73

Transportation Costs 74

1Structure & Organization of Armenian Railways


rmenian Railways (AR) is an 842 km network of rail lines that link the main cities in Armenia, and connects Armenia with the neighboring countries of Georgia, Azerbaijan and Turkey.1 Before the dissolution of the Soviet Union, AR was part of the Trans-Caucuses Railway within the Soviet Ministry of Railways (MPS). The Trans-Caucuses Railway, headquartered in Baku, also included the railways of Georgia and Azerbaijan. The AR lines were operated as part of this larger network.
Following Armenia’s independence in 1991, AR was established as a separate railway. Shortly after independence, fighting broke out between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan and Turkey closed their borders with Armenia. Although a cease-fire was announced in 1994, the borders remain closed. The border closures isolate a 46 km segment of AR in southern Armenia, which is now closed. An additional segment of line between Dilijan and the Azerbaijan border is closed because of a landslide. AR’s only open international connection is at Airum with the Georgian Railway. This connection is a strategically important link for imports of oil and food products into Armenia.
At the end of the Soviet era, AR carried nearly 35 million tonnes of freight and 5 million passengers a year. The economic dislocations stemming from the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the war in Nagorno-Karabakh, and the border closures depressed the Armenian economy and devastated rail traffic. By 1999, AR carried only 1.5 million tonnes and 1.3 million passengers. The economy of Armenia contracted again in 2000, but growth is expected to resume in 2001. While economic growth expected to encourage rail traffic, the Armenian economy is growing away from rail-based industries, so rail traffic is expected to grow slowly and not recover to Soviet era levels.

1.2Organizational Structure

Armenian Railways has undergone tremendous change in the last decade. It became an independent national railway in 1991. Since that time, the railway experienced major reductions in traffic and has started to adjust its physical plant to its much smaller traffic base. It has experience severe financial constraints and slashed expenditures for materials and capital goods. In 1998, in a move to reform the railway and make it more commercial, AR was reorganized. It now consists of:

  • Railway Department. A part of the Armenian Ministry of Transport and Communications, it serves as the owner and oversight agency for the operating companies.

  • Infrastructure CJSC. A closed joint stock company, it owns and operates the infrastructure of the railway and charges for its use.

  • Rollingstock CJSC. A closed joint stock company, it owns, maintains and leases the rolling stock fleet and provides locomotive drivers and assistants.

  • Transportation CJSC. A closed joint stock company, it provides passenger and freight transportation services.

  • Eleven non-core companies.

This structure is shown in the chart on the following page. The units are expected to pay one another for services rendered. Mechanisms for billing and payment are not fully developed and are the subject of considerable discussion within the railway. AR is planning to divest the non-core companies.
AR is discussing the possibility of merging the Rollingstock Company back into the Transportation Company. If AR chooses to do this, hwtsl recommend that only the rollingstock and facilities reasonably needed to serve AR’s traffic be transferred. AR has significantly more assets than will be needed under any reasonable traffic forecast. These excess facilities and rollingstock should be put into a company, whose mandate is to maximize the value that can be derived from the assets. It should be free to sell, scrap or lease the assets for any transportation or non-transportation purpose.2

Armenian Railways Organization Structure

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