Developments in rail organization in the Americas, 1990 to present and future directions

Railways in the Americas date from the mid to late 19th century. They were all initially privately owned, but many Latin American railways underwent an evolution to public ownership and control. All of the rail systems were weakening as of the 1970s, and governments were forced to act. In the US and Canada, passenger services were separated from freight, with government support for the passenger services, while freight services remained in the private sector: in both countries the freight operator controls the infrastructure while the passenger operator is a tenant. In Latin America, governments mostly formed vertically integrated concessions to private operators in the 1990s with payments from freight operators and payments to passenger operators. In this paper, the authors argue that the form and structure of the US and Canadian railways will remain stable in the future unless political sentiment leads to significant modification of the deregulation of the 1980s. In Latin America, because there is currently no intra-modal rail competition on parallel lines, some of the currently vertically integrated freight concessions may experience transition to forms of open access in order to promote competition on the infrastructure.


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  • Accession Number: 01485273
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 24 2013 1:39PM