The Railway Reform Book: The European railway market has been a major reform in the last two decades. But
There are significant changes in this regard in Europe. Some countries started around 20 years earlier, while others have just started. There are also several different basic models and there are numerous opposing views on what to do to create a competitive rail sector.
In our daily work in Brussels, we regularly meet national railway experts. But there are very few people who have a broad view of developments in Europe as a whole. The great speed of reforms and the availability of many materials in only national languages make it difficult to follow reforms. In this book, we try to close this gap by inviting elite national experts to write their overview of the reforms in their own country. In particular, we asked the experts about which of these reforms were successful or unsuccessful. We are honored to publish the work of a CEO, President of the UIC, two former transport ministers, two chief executives, ten chief academics and five internationally recognized consultants. Considering the differences in backgrounds and cultures, book sections inevitably differ in terms of focus, approach and results. This diversity only reinforces the importance of countries regulating rail markets based on their political and commercial realities.
We are pleased to include the four chapters on the reforms outside the European Union. The greatest achievements of the reforms are controversial in the US and Japan, while Latin America is the most experienced in granting concessions. The reforms in these countries, with the exception of Russia, are based on remarkably different reform models according to the reforms implemented in the European Union.
This book also shows the political and economic condition differences between the member states in Europe - especially between East and West. These differences led to various solutions and results. Recognizing these differences is the first step towards making reforms that meet all requirements, not just the conditions in Western Europe. This book is also about the political process of Europe. As we have seen in the many chapters below, our view is that while much progress has been made in promoting the competition in the European railway freight market, there has been much less development in establishing a socially effective remuneration system in transport modes. In fact, significant changes to the principles of truck tolls in Europe (Eurovignette Directive) were first discussed in 1990 years and included in the Commission's White Paper 2011; however, Member States are still not allowed to charge fees for external costs that they create from heavy goods vehicles. In addition, the investment in railway infrastructure in many Member States is insufficient.
Despite these problems, we are confident of the future of the European railway industry. This will take time; however, the pressure to serve customers and reduce the impact of governments on their internal management processes will turn into better products supplied at lower costs. Increased congestion in road traffic and concerns about climate change also support the railway. Moreover, the expansion of Europe due to the increase in trade due to a new division of labor in Europe creates new opportunities for the railway freight market. If completed with a more modern infrastructure and more favorable pricing between modes, the rail will play a central role in the future of the European transport market.
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