Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
One idea would be to do something along the lines we have here, having all the rail and stations owned by the state but the train operators private (though the biggest operator is state owned).

No, that still contains the main problem of separation, and the tricky shifting of externalities. I won't call the Swedish reform a big success (you mention tickets and freeriding), not to mention the similar British one.

That is a problem even if you have it all state owned.

I'm not sure. Present-day state unwillingness to finance line construction is linked to an intention to sell it all off with time; and also to a lack of real interest in public transport and moving freight onto the rails and sustainability, whatever the rhetoric -- but that's again linked to the privatisation drive, too. So a "fully state-owned railway that's meant to remain so" is a hypothetical -- one predicated upon some policy motivation on the part of politicians.

E.g. I think a 100 years ago, you would have gotten that rail link.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat Oct 11th, 2008 at 02:11:21 PM EST
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