The purpose of this paper is to examine the relevance of economic theory to the rail privatisation proposals contained in the Railways Act 1993. After a review of the latest rail privatisation literature four major themes emerged: \ud \ud (1) Contestability and Barriers to Entry.\ud \ud (2) Franchising. \ud \ud (3) Vertical Integration.\ud \ud (4) Horizontal Integration. \ud \ud Following a short review of the rail privatisation proposals the paper presents each theme in the context of the proposals. In conclusion, we highlight a number of future issues which will require monitoring and research in the future. In particular, we identify a number of hypotheses, put forward by both those in favour and against the Government's proposals, that should be tested
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