Rail operation–infrastructure separation: the case of Kobe rapid transit railway

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

organisation - regulation, mode - rail


vertical separation, railway, infrastructure costs, efficiency, economic regulation


Vertical separation in the rail industry is common in Europe, but evaluation of the policy has been insufficient. The main purpose of this paper is to explain one method of operation–infrastructure separation as practiced in the case of Kobe Kosoku, a unique rail infrastructure owning company in Japan, as well as to discuss practical coordination problems related to structuring separation. Our overall conclusion is that vertically separated systems do not have significant advantages over vertically integrated systems in terms of the maintenance costs of infrastructure. In fact, the results of our analysis of infrastructure maintenance costs indicate that vertically separated systems might not be significantly different from vertically integrated ones.


Permission to publish the abstract given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


Transport Policy Home Page: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/0967070X