Another flaw of vertical integration: One operator is on strike, so all the others have to stop as well
Yesterday, the Austrian state-owned rail incumbent Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) was on strike. Since the incumbent rail operator and infrastructure manager are vertically integrated in Austria, it led to the infrastructure manager being on strike as well. Therefore, ÖBB's competitors such as WESTbahn and RegioJet were unable to operate their trains even though they were not on strike.
Joint press release: Rail infrastructure focused on the public interest is necessary for modal shift to rail in Germany
The vertical integration of rail infrastructure managers and market dominant rail operators does not work, as we have seen in many examples in recent years, such as in France, which has some of the highest track access fees in Europe.
Instead, it is unbundling that drives innovation, quality, efficiency and jobs. With coalition negotiations taking place in Germany right now, it is crucial to have a rail infrastructure there that is focused on the public interest - and not the interests of operators within the same holding company. A new 2nd Rail Reform in Germany is urgently necessary.