EUROPEAN PASSENGER FEDERATION(EPF) 20th ANNIVERSARY EVENT On January 13th the European Passengers’ Federation (of which ERC(UK) is an associate member) marked its 20th birthday with a special event at the European Parliament in Brussels. ERC(UK) and the German association PROBAHN helped sponsor the event, and two of our members attended along with 35 other colleagues from Continental public transport users’ associations, lobbyists and decision-makers. The event was hosted by Irish MEP Ciaran Cuffe and speakers included representatives of the Community of European Railways, ALLRAIL plus train campaigner and blogger Jon Worth. Topics covered in the presentations and discussion embraced cross-border services and passenger rights. For a full report see: http://www.epf.eu/wp/epf-celebrates-turning-20/ TO EUROPE BY RAIL/SEA/RAIL One of the few convenient links to Europe
Before the Channel Tunnel opened in 1995, you could always buy a paper train ticket from most UK stations to most destinations all over Europe. Since the start of Eurostar services from London, it has become harder to buy a through ticket to many destinations beyond France, Belgium & The Netherlands. An easy connection at Brussels onto Germany is complicated by the fact that a Deutsche Bahn ticket for Germany is not valid on a Thalys (now part of Eurostar) service to Cologne. Thanks to rail campaigners all over Europe there is finally some hope on the horizon. Back in October, a formal agreement was announced by all main train operators across Europe that they will adapt their ticketing systems
GERMAN PLANS FOR A REGULAR INTERVAL TIMETABLE ACROSS THEIR RAIL NETWORK Recently, Deutsche Bahn announced their plan to bring about a nationwide regular interval timetable from 2030. They are building on the established Swiss “Taktfahplan” but, on a much larger scale for a larger network. This will mean that across the whole of Germany you will be able to make smart connections at all major stations(called hubs) at the same time every hour throughout the day. In many cases this will also be possible every half hour. To achieve this they have an ambitious plan to build more high-speed lines, raise speed limits on some existing lines and electrify 70% of the network.
BRUSSELS AS A NIGHT TRAIN HUB Last month on the 22nd October our sister organization “Back-on Track Belgium” gave a presentation in a Webinar as part of the EU regions & Cities week. They explained how up to 6 Night train services could provide useful links connecting many parts of East, West, North and Southern Europe. This would also provide better rail travel opportunities for UK residents with one simple change to & from Eurostar at Brussels. NEW HOPE FOR SIMPLER TICKETING ? The International Union of Railways (UIC) has announced it will introduce a new Open Sales and Distribution Model (OSDM) platform supplied by Hit Rail to replace their existing Price and Fare Information Storage (PRIFIS) international tariffs distribution