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The optimal setup of a rail system – Lessons learned from outside Europe

This study on the structure of major rail systems outside Europe analyzes rail structures in the US, Canada, Japan, Russia and China, which together account for 80% of global freight transportation by rail and 50% of passenger rail travel.

The major railroads in these countries are all integrated systems: infrastructure operator and railway undertaking are combined in a single company. The study finds that these rail systems have significantly improved their traffic volumes, asset and personnel productivity and investments over the last ten years.

Our analysis of international rail systems took place in the run-up to the Fourth European Railway Package. The study was trigged by the current debate about potential complete separation of infrastructure operators and rail transportation companies in Europe.