Another good read is this from Ross Clark which explains that the "failure" of rail privatisation is because there are some serious questions about the viability of rail at all.
UPDATE: I know this article has been linked to by a couple of forums. Please read the articles at the bottom and indeed the presentation I linked to here. You can romanticise as much as you like, and I have a stack of Rails magazines from the 1980s and 1990s, and the NZ Railway Observer as well, so I am a rail enthusiast at a personal, emotional level, but the hard economic facts are that rail is an expensive way to move goods given the high capital costs of the bespoke equipment and infrastructure. Only when volumes are high, frequent and over long distances do the fuel and personnel advantages start to offset this. It's about economics. In the US, rail freight succeeds in spite of serious undercharging of trucks on untolled interstate highways, in NZ Road User Charges contribute to a very different picture.