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Competition and the railroads: A European perspective


  • Knieps, Günter


The reform of European railroads is a time-consuming process strongly charac-terized by its path-dependency. Firstly, a short outline of the historical roots of the controversial debates on the role of the state and the markets, and the organi-zation of competition in European railroad industries is provided. Secondly, the opening of the market for train services in the context of the liberalization of European transport markets since 1985 is characterized and the regulatory pre-conditions for competition on the tracks are presented. Thirdly, the evolution of track access regulation in Europe during the last decades is analyzed, differenti-ating between the period of negotiated third party access since 1991, the intro-duction of ex ante regulation by the first railroad infrastructure package in 2001, and the danger of overregulation posed by the recent Draft Directive of July 2012 establishing a single European railway area. Fourthly, the role of competi-tion on the markets for rail services and the reform process of interoperability requirements are considered. Finally, competition on the markets for rail ser-vices and public subsidies for rail infrastructures as well as subsidies for train services are evaluated.

Suggested Citation

  • Knieps, Günter, 2012. "Competition and the railroads: A European perspective," Discussion Papers 142, University of Freiburg, Institute for Transport Economics and Regional Policy.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:aluivr:142

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Knieps, Günther, 2010. "Regulatory reforms of European network industries and the courts," Discussion Papers 129 [rev.], University of Freiburg, Institute for Transport Economics and Regional Policy.
    2. G. Knieps, 2005. "Telecommunications Markets in the Stranglehold of EU Regulation: On the need for a disaggregated regulatory contract," Competition and Regulation in Network Industries, Intersentia, vol. 6(2), pages 75-94, June.
    3. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Devereux, Michael P. & Guiso, Luigi & Hassler, John & Saint-Paul, Gilles & Sinn, Hans-Werner & Sturm, Jan-Egbert & Vives, Xavier, 2010. "The European economy," Munich Reprints in Economics 20104, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    4. Weiß, Hans-Jörg, 2005. "Die Potenziale des Deprival Value-Konzepts zur entscheidungsorientierten Bewertung von Kapital in liberalisierten Netzindustrien," Discussion Papers 108, University of Freiburg, Institute for Transport Economics and Regional Policy.
    5. Weiß, Hans-Jörg, 2010. "Markt und Staat in der Verkehrswirtschaft," Discussion Papers 134, University of Freiburg, Institute for Transport Economics and Regional Policy.
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