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The privatization and de-privatization of rail industry assets in Australia and New Zealand


  • Abbott, Malcolm
  • Cohen, Bruce


The rail sector globally has seen considerable reform in recent years. To date, the shape of reform has varied across jurisdictions, as has the nature of the rail operations being reformed. In numerous jurisdictions, the reform processes have encompassed the privatization of assets and operations. Unlike many other industries where privatization has occurred, however, the rail sector has experienced several instances where asset ownership and operations have been taken back into the hands of the government. In this paper, an examination is made of the privatization and de-privatization (or reverse privatization) of rail assets in three jurisdictions in Australia and New Zealand to see what insights can be drawn with regard to the factors that led to the failure of privatization and the government's reclaiming of control.

Suggested Citation

  • Abbott, Malcolm & Cohen, Bruce, 2016. "The privatization and de-privatization of rail industry assets in Australia and New Zealand," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 48-56.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:juipol:v:41:y:2016:i:c:p:48-56
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jup.2016.04.010

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Esposito, Giovanni & Cicatiello, Lorenzo & Ercolano, Salvatore, 2020. "Reforming railways in the EU: An empirical assessment of liberalisation policies in the European rail freight market," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 132(C), pages 606-613.
    2. Antonio Estache, 2020. "Infrastructure “Privatization”: When Ideology Meets Evidence," Working Papers ECARES 2020-28, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.

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