Part III Inland Transport, 9 Railway Transport (I): Liberalization and Regulation
Edited By: Luis Ortiz Blanco, Ben Van Houtte
- Market definition — Market power — European Union — Technology — Passenger transport — Railways
The first reforms of the EU railway sector were made in the 1990s, after the quality of railway transport had deteriorated drastically. Road traffic benefitted from dynamic growth owing to the EU Internal Market, but the national monopoly railway companies were not able to meet market demands. Awareness of the negative environmental consequences of road traffic was growing. This chapter describes the main objectives of the European Union’s railway policy through successive ‘packages’ since the 1990s, intended to open the market to competition and create incentives for product innovation and service quality, while fostering the interoperability of the national networks (and, hence, international services) through technical harmonization, developing a common rail safety approach, and creating a Trans-European Network for rail. It details the role of regulatory bodies and defines the relationship between infrastructure providers and rail service operators. The chapter also sets out the regulatory framework to enhance rail safety and interoperability.