The impact of vertical separation on the success of the railways


This paper empirically analyses whether full ownership separation strengthens rail in comparison with other transport modes — a major goal of European and national transport policies. Data from nine European countries in the period 1994–2009 are evaluated, with the end result that the positive effects of full separation cannot be confirmed. On the contrary, full separation significantly reduces the share of rail in passenger transport, while in the freight segment, the regressions yield ambiguous results.

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Correspondence to Christine Laabsch.

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Deutsche Bahn AG, Corporate Strategy. Views and opinions expressed, as well as assumptions made in this article, are not reflective of the position of Deutsche Bahn AG.

The authors thank, without implication, Thomas Ehrmann, Martin Falk, Georg Götz and Marc Ivaldi for comments and discussions, which helped to improve the paper substantially.

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Laabsch, C., Sanner, H. The impact of vertical separation on the success of the railways. Intereconomics 47, 120–128 (2012).

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  • Freight Transport
  • Vertical Separation
  • Infrastructure Manager
  • Rail Transport
  • Modal Share