Ekonomiczne Problemy Turystyki (Jan 2017)

Ekonomiczne perspektywy funkcjonowania kolei wąskotorowych w Polsce jako atrakcji turystycznej

  • Michał Zajfert

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 37


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A technical monument like narrow-gauge railway can become an important element in creating a tourist product. The article presents the conditions of operation of narrow-gauge railways in Poland, both on the demand side – how railways can be seen by tourists, and the supply side by analysing the technological limitations and possibilities of further operation. Nowadays narrow-gauge railways serve as a tourist attraction, that is why the demand for their services is largely determined by the attractiveness of the region in which they are located. Furthermore, at the discretion of each of them lies its historical image connected, among other things, with the type of traction used. It turns out that the use of the steam engine has a significant impact on attendance but only if it is possible to adjust supply to demand, since the supply appears to be limited by factors of a technical nature typical for railway transport. The analysis presented in the article shows that the narrow-gauge railway is a type of tourist attraction which has too narrow bandwidth (it can serve too few tourists at the same time) to expect from it full coverage of costs by influences to fully cover the costs of is operation. Also the use of a steam engine does not lead to a significant improvement in the financial results of the operation of the whole railway. However, attractive tourist narrow-gauge railway raises the value of the whole region bringing it multi-dimensional benefits, which justifies the involvement of local governments in the care of the narrow-gauge railways which are usually their property.