Interventions in rail


I have just finished reading two superb briefings from the House of Commons Library: Price Controls and State Intervention in the Rail Market and Railways: EU Policy. Three points emerge:

  • That the Library produces first-class work: readable, clear, appropriately detailed, targeted.
  • That the rail market in the UK is far from free.
  • That the EU regularly produces reports on revitalising Europe’s railways, notably in 1996, 2001, 2003 and 2008. This regularity perhaps speaks for itself.

More anon, but I am reminded of Atlas Shrugged and its tale of intervention in rail. The IEA’s Living with Leviathan, especially chapter 7 – take a look at the book – is very much to the point, as it explains how the state is strangling social cooperation.

Still, all to the good: my case that high-speed rail and like projects are not susceptible to rational economic calculation in the current environment should be straightforward to make.

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