This introduction presents an overview of key concepts covered in this book. The book is based on research work carried out in the second half of 1997 and financed by the Dutch Railways (NS) and the Dutch Ministry of Transport. It focuses on the reforms being implemented in Europe and Japan with a special focus on the role played by competition and contracting in dense and polycentric passenger networks. The book identifies the discussions on railway reform and on the use of competition therein. It presents ‘facts’ such as to allow the Dutch Ministry of Transport and NS to learn from experiences with various forms of competition in railway networks, and to determine their respective positions on competitive regimes. Countries or areas with comparable levels of economic development and with dense and relatively intensively used networks were chosen to allow for a maximum of comparability. These are the United Kingdom, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, Japan and France.

Erasmus School of Economics

Van De Velde, D. (Didier). (2018). Introduction. In Changing Trains: Railway Reform and the Role of Competition: The Experience of Six Countries (pp. 1–4). doi:10.4324/9780429463556-1