Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Restructuring the Chinese Freight Railway: Two Scenarios

Cui, Shana and Pittman, Russell and Zhao, Jian (2018): Restructuring the Chinese Freight Railway: Two Scenarios.

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Abstract

Twenty years of debate regarding the restructuring of the Chinese freight railway have failed to yield a consensus. Early policy statements favoring the creation of above-the-rail competition over a monopoly infrastructure – the “European” model of rail restructuring – have broadened into a lively policy and scholarly debate that includes as an alternative the division of the system into competing vertically integrated railways – the “Americas” model of restructuring. To date, however, there have been no tangible reform steps beyond organizational restructuring, the construction of new coal railroads, some with private-sector participation, and the introduction of scheduled service, especially for containers, between China and Europe. In this paper we argue in favor of the Americas model as a basis for restructuring and offer two alternative scenarios for the creation of multiple vertically integrated freight railways. Both plans enable competition between independent firms and routes for import/export traffic, one a southern, One Belt/One Road path, the other a northern path via the Trans-Siberian Railway.

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