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Reform Progress of the Railway Industry: Review, Analysis and Prospect (No.144, 2019)


By Shi Yaodong & Zhou Yi, Research Team on “Four Decades of Reform and Opening-up: Review and Experience Summary”, DRC

Research Report, No.144, 2019 (Total 5644) 2019-8-22

Abstract: Thanks to the continuous reforms, the railway industry has become increasingly more market-based and larger in scale in the development of the past four decades. It is necessary to make a systematic review and analysis of the reforms to provide experience and lessons for further deepening of the railway industry reform. This report first introduces the situations and the problems of low productivity and overburden of enterprises faced by the railway industry in the beginning of reform. Then it divides the reforms of the railway industry into three phases: the pilot phase of delegating powers to lower-level organizations and separating the responsibility of governments from the corporate systems to vitalize the industry; the phase of restructuring the industry and launching the market-based reform, and the phase of further separating the governmental and corporate responsibilities while conducting price reform and optimizing the structure. Through the efforts in these phases, the transport capacity, efficiency and technological level have been enhanced. In response to the current problems in the railway industry, this study suggests that the reforms, especially in the explorations in the investment and financing systems, the separation of rail infrastructure network and transport services, the effective competition mode, and the adoption of corporate governance structure in the railway industry, should be deepened and pushed further.

Key words: reform progress of the railway industry, deepening reforms, key tasks