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Creación y trayectoria de una empresa pública uruguaya: La Administración de Ferrocarriles del Estado (AFE)

Magdalena Bertino, Gastón Dí­az Steinberg () and Cecilia Moreira Goyetche ()
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Gastón Dí­az Steinberg: Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economí­a
Cecilia Moreira Goyetche: Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economí­a

No 15-13, Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) from Instituto de Economia - IECON

Abstract: This paper studies the historical evolution of the State Railway Administration (AFE, by its Spanish initials), the state-owned company that has the monopoly on railway services in Uruguay. The railway was nationalized in 1948 when the British owned companies that had operated the network since the 19th century were purchased by the Uruguayan state, and occurred in the context of the post-war move, worldwide, towards greater state intervention. AFE was formed in 1952 when the ex-British railways were merged with the rest of the network that was already in state hands. The company faced grave problems from the start, since it had inherited a railway network that was in very bad shape, and a fleet of locomotives and wagons that was insufficient and excessively old. In addition, the railway network was too large for the country's needs. The main problem, which grew worse over the years, and which affected railways in many parts of the world, was the increasing competition from the automobile. Given this situation, and along with the failure of the state's attempts to regulate the transport market and its incapacity to finances the necessary investments to maintain and modernize the railway, the company grew smaller and the railway services declined, losing their place as the country's primary mode of transport. The goal of this paper is to explain the local determinants of the deterioration of the company and the loss of importance of the railway within the transport sector. The sources used are primarily the company's own records, and using the Argentine case as a point of comparison, we examine the railway's productive and financial performance.

Keywords: state-owned companies; railways; Uruguay (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: N76 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 35 pages
Date: 2015-10
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-his and nep-tre
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