Railway Reform 1 introduced competition in the use of the rail network in Switzerland. Previously each railway operated as a monopoly on its own network (with the exception of joint ventures).
Since 1999, railway undertakings have had a right to use the networks of other railways in return for payment. Open access to the network allows railway undertakings to bring competing innovative ideas for attractive and effective rail services. That should increase the rail market share in total. Competition is particularly important for freight traffic where there are some twenty different freight companies.
Access to the infrastructure must be fair and transparent for open access to be able to unlock benefits. The key to fairness and transparency is freeing the planning and allocation of train paths from discrimination.