The paper compares the provisions for regulating rail freight in five countries: the United States, Canada, Germany, France and Britain. Reference is also made to Australia, where the Government is promoting open access, and Central Europe. The paper compares the performance of these railways under different regulatory regimes. In the United States, following the separation of the passenger railways in the 1970s, deregulation occurred in 1980 and has allowed the vertically integrated, privately owned rail freight industry to improve productivity, reduce rates, increase traffic and profitability. Regulatory intervention mainly occurs when mergers are proposed. In Canada, rail is dominated by freight as in the United States, but deregulation is not as well advanced and performance has not improved as rapidly. In the EU, in contrast, rail is dominated by passenger services and with the exception of Britain, they are publicly owned. The provisions of Directive 911440 on the future development of the railways have had a positive impact in some respects but there are few open access operators, despite open access being one of the Directive's main objectives. The paper reviews both the provisions for open access and more the general regulatory provisions to protect the public interest. It concludes that, despite the differences, the EU and the countries of Central and Eastern Europe can draw important lessons from the American experience with deregulation. For the covering abstract see IRRD E104573.


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: p. 33-43

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00790396
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • ISBN: 0-86050-320-8
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Apr 11 2000 12:00AM