“Derailed” : Investigate Europe uncovers the hidden barriers to European rail

Image: IE – Alexia Barakou

November 23rd 2021

A new investigation on the failures of European rail has just been made public by Investigate Europe, a consortium of European journalists who report across borders. In the first articles of a series of releases Investigate Europe is highlighting the main issues for the development of rail in Europe.

The articles provide a clear and straightforward message: European railway is in a worse state than 20 years ago, despite four European Union packages on rail, national networks have shrunk, while international connections have become rare, and night trains have almost disappeared. Who is to blame for this situation? And who can change it for the better? According to their findings, responsibility is shared between different actors, including member states and national companies. Their data analysis “shows that EU countries still invest significantly more money in road than rail”. They have also “found several examples of non-aggression agreements between national companies from different states – to avoid competition”.

At Europe on Rail, we are dedicated to eliminating the barriers that prevent the mainstreaming of rail for long and medium distances. Given the importance of rail to achieve the climate objectives, it is now crucial to work towards a more dense and interconnected railway network for Europe. In that sense, the different actors – European Union institutions, Member states, together with rail companies – must, amongst other measures, support more investment in rolling stock, make access to infrastructure fairer, invest in cross-border infrastructure and end fiscal advantages for the aviation sector.

Find the related articles below (in French, Italian, German, Spanish and Polish):

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