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Competition Limits in Railway Transport
Competition Limits in Railway Transport

Author(s): Zdeněk Tomeš
Subject(s): Economy
Published by: Ekonomický ústav SAV a Prognostický ústav SAV
Keywords: railways; natural monopoly; unbundling; infrastructure

Summary/Abstract: The aim of the paper is to assess advantages and disadvantages of the policy of railway separation (unbundling) of infrastructure and services. The policy of vertical unbundling is an attempt to introduce competition into the provision of railway services. The vertical unbundling strategy in railways has been strongly advocated by the European Commission as a possibility to increase competition and efficiency in this sector. The strategy has been applied since the beginning of 1990’s in many European countries with varied energy, depth and timing. An evaluation of vertical unbundling strategy reveals both positive and negative aspects. On the positive side there are clear indications that introduction of reforms has improved efficiency. But it is evident that power of competition has significant limits in railways due to numerous specifics of this unique industry. If the unbundling policy has more advantages than disadvantages is subject to debate but there are strong indications that there are also other possible ways of combating inefficiencies in the railway sector.

  • Issue Year: 59/2011
  • Issue No: 02
  • Page Range: 194-203
  • Page Count: 10
  • Language: English