2023 >> MORE HIGH SPEED TRAINS + MORE NIGHT TRAINS MEANS MORE AND BETTER CONNECTIONS ACROSS EUROPE

Some of you may have come across the Euronews website. In case you missed this, they recently published a bulletin listing lots of news about new and improved services which will be running across many European countries this year. As well as lots of information, there are also some useful links to Traveller blogs- for example – 14 days around Italy and a rail trip across 9 different countries. There is even one by a seasoned rail campaigner who during 2 months last summer took 150 trains across 28 different countries in the European Economic area. See: https://www.euronews.com/travel/2022/12/28/flight-free-travel-europes-new-long-distance-train-routes-for-2022 And see also: https://www.euronews.com/travel/2022/07/22/meet-the-man-battling-to-fix-europe-s-trains-via-an-epic-40-day-journey

EUROSTAR MUST RETURN TO ASHFORD IN 2022

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.

TO SPAIN BY TRAIN ?

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

HOW EASY IS IT TO CROSS EU BORDERS BY TRAIN ?

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/

BETTER NEWS FROM ACROSS THE CHANNEL

While the UK cuts airport departure taxes and increases rail fares the French Government announces a new sustainable aviation fuel surcharge to be added to the cost of flights departing from France from this month. Last December The European Commission announced it’s long awaited action plan to improve long distance cross-border train services. See: Action Plan to boost passenger rail (europa.eu)

THIS “GREEN” GOVERNMENT’S RAIL POLICY IS A TRAIN WRECK

This was the title of the headline letter we had published in The New European on the 12th August which you can read in full below : – We were very pleased to read Tom Chesshyre’s feature in TNE 254. This provided a critical evaluation of the measures the EU is taking to encourage greater use of the European Rail Network as a low carbon alternative to air travel. It is now quite clear that we face a climate emergency, as evidenced by the sheer number of “record-breaking” fires & floods all over the world. As part of the EU New Green Deal there now seems to be a clear political and financial commitment to improve cross-border long-distance day and

December 2020

“TOGETHER FOR EUROPE – NEW LINES FOR NIGHT TRAINS“ At a press conference on the 8th December the Swiss, German, Austrian & French state railways announced their plan to co-operate in the launch of 4 new night train services within the next 3 years. This will give rail users to/from the UK a greater choice of connections from Eurostar day services in Paris & Brussels onto night trains going onto Rome, Vienna, Barcelona for example. “EVERY LITTLE HELPS” or PROGRESS ON 7 CROSS BORDER RAIL LINKS Thanks to an agreement between the Grand-Est region in France and the Rheinland-Pfalz region in Germany 7 regular cross-border rail services will be running from December 2024. Every improvement in such links makes the