The Belgian Government have announced that they will subsidize the track access charges for all night trains serving Belgium. This is designed to encourage train operators to run more night trains from Brussels to other parts of Europe. From here in the UK, we have long supported the development of Brussels as a night train hub, where convenient connections can be made with daytime Eurostar services. See this link which should translate into English for further information: https://www.lok-report.de/news/europa/item/37144-belgien-europapremiere-foederalregierung-beschliesst-ein-system-zur-unterstuetzung-von-nachtzugbetreibern.htm We now call on the UK Government to find a way of reducing the track access charges for both HS1 and the Channel Tunnel, so we can enjoy cheaper, more frequent train services to & from Europe.
As we face a Climate Emergency, why is it still so hard and expensive to use Eurostar-the greenest way to travel to and from Europe? Eurostar has been continually ” strangled” ever since its birth when the first train ran through the Channel Tunnel in November 1994. The responsibility for all this clearly lies with the UK Government. This is mainly due to their ideological obsession of privatising all major infrastructure projects. How has this happened ? 1 – The track access charges per kilometer that Eurostar has to pay to the owners of the Channel Tunnel have always been set much higher than the average across Europe. 2 – The need for all passengers to go through airport style
On the 16th September our colleagues from Back on Track in Belgium, Germany, Denmark & Sweden organised a series of events to promote the need for a Night Train from Brussels to Malmo in the south of Sweden. Such a service would be very useful for people in the UK, as we could then connect directly into this service via an afternoon Eurostar from London. We have posted a link to a clip from Back-on-Track Belgium, which illustrates the various events which took place on that day. The link also shows a suggested timetable and some information about the various towns and cities served along the route. Although most of the text is in English, there is a bit in
Kent must no longer be cut off from the High Speed European Rail Network. As Eurostar is now running a very busy full service from London St Pancras, it is now high time they re-opened Ashford International, which has regular interval local train connections to most parts of Kent. Opening up Ashford will help to relieve the pressure on the terminal at St Pancras, which has been struggling to deal with the large number of passengers having to go through the extra Post-Brexit border controls.
Thanks to investment in the High-Speed Network, for several years it has been possible to take daytime trains from London to many parts of Northern and Eastern Spain. This is not quite so easy for those living further away from London or not wanting a long daytime journey with one or more changes along the way. However, there are many places along the way which could make a very pleasant stop-over to break up the journey. Have a look at this link for some interesting ideas :- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGR3ipqyjes&list=PL8w-BAm7lVzfnTCJauwicMo0-eeYPkE0h
Recently, French Railways re-introduced the night train service from Paris to Nice. From the 1st July they will re-introduce another night train service from Paris to Tarbes, Lourdes, Pau, Bayonne, Biarritz and Hendaye in South West France. Have a look at our recently published leaflet which you can find at https://www.eurorailcampaignuk.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/NightTrainsLeaflet.pdf . You will find a list of all-year and seasonal services running across West and Central Europe as well as useful daytime connecting links.
HS1 Ltd who are the owners of the High Speed Rail Link from London to the Channel Tunnel recently conducted market research into how business people would prefer to travel to and from key European destinations. Their research concluded that an overwhelming majority of around 80 % would consider travel by train if a suitably attractive offer was available compared to air. They also concluded that people wanted to take the train to a greater range of destinations than are possible at the moment, whether for leisure or business purposes. Bordeaux, Frankfurt and Prague were suggested as destinations that can be easily reached from London using HS1 and the High Speed Network across Europe. For further information see a recent
Seasoned rail campaigner Jon Worth will be taking to the rails on June 14th on a 40 day journey where he aims to discover how easy or difficult it might be to travel by train from one EU country to another. He will be crossing every border within the EU , Switzerland and Norway travelling by train and bicycle in areas where there should be a proper rail connection. In each country he will be meeting with activists and politicians to encourage decision-makers to take action to restore these missing links. The campaign is called CrossBorderRail and to find out more you should visit https://crossborderrail.trainsforeurope.eu/
If you did not travel by car until a few weeks ago, you could still travel from Dover to Calais as a foot passenger on a limited number of sailings with P & O Ferries. Since their sailings were suspended by the Department of Transport on safety grounds at the end of March non-car drivers again have no easy way to travel to/from the European mainland. We are calling on Eurostar to re-start their services from Ashford International as soon as possible and the UK Department of Transport of transport in the meantime to arrange and publicise suitable coach connections between Ashford and Calais/Lille using the Eurotunnel shuttle.
Many European Train Operators have recently announced free train travel for all Ukrainians seeking asylum in The EU. We therefore call on the UK Government, Scottish Government, Welsh & Northern Ireland Assemblies and Eurostar to do the same until further notice for all Ukrainians seeking asylum in the UK.