Conveyor Belt or Competitive Market: What is a Railway?

18 Pages Posted: 5 Sep 2007 Last revised: 16 Sep 2008

Date Written: August 1, 2007


The notion that allowing third party access to the natural monopoly, below-rail track and signalling infrastructure might induce competitive entry in above-rail train operations has been a part of European and Australian rail policy since the early 1990s. However, competition has been slow to emerge and it is useful to ask why. This paper examines railways from a number of different perspectives in an attempt to understand the limits of what policymakers might expect from a rail access regime.

Keywords: Railways, Access

JEL Classification: K23, L92

Suggested Citation

Wills-Johnson, Nick, Conveyor Belt or Competitive Market: What is a Railway? (August 1, 2007). Available at SSRN: or

Nick Wills-Johnson (Contact Author)

DBP ( email )

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