The Climate Train to the COP 26 Climate Conference in Glasgow has been confirmed for Saturday 30th October. This train has been organised by “Youth for Sustainable Travel” with the support of Eurostar, Netherlands Railways, Avanti West Coast and Prorail the Dutch Rail Infrastructure company. A group of climate activists & others will be taking this special Eurostar train from Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Brussels arriving in London at around Midday on Saturday 30th October . They will take the short walk from St Pancras across to Euston to continue onto Glasgow using selected Avanti West Coast services. For further information go to: https://railtothecop.com/apply Rail to the Cop will be promoting the role of sustainable travel in tackling climate change as well as
On the 3rd June 2021 The European Passenger Federation(EPF) along with 4 other stakeholders sent a letter to the European Commission asking for 2022 to become The European Rail of Year and Public Transport. As an associate member of the EPF we fully support this initiative as the Covid 19 situation has severely curtailed people’s ability to travel around Europe in 2021. It would also make sense to extend the promotion of Rail to Public Transport in general in view of the climate emergency. Click here for more information: http://www.epf.eu/wp/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/UITP_Make-2022-the-European-year-of-rail-and-public-transport.pdf
As part of The European Year of Rail promotions, a special train will be touring Europe leaving Lisbon on 7th September and finishing in Paris on 7th October. What a shame that it will be missing out the UK – when the train will also be visiting Serbia & Macedonia who like the UK are not members of the European Union and happy to support the European Year of Rail in 2021. Click here for more information: https://www.connectingeuropeexpress.eu/
RAIL TO THE COP : On the 1st May Youth for Sustainable Travel (YfST)launched their campaign for sustainable travel to the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow to be held from 1st – 12th November 2021. YfST is a group of young climate activists and experts registered in the Netherlands. For further information click here: https://railtothecop.com/ EUROSTAR’S FUTURE SECURE FOR NOW : On the 18th May Eurostar announced they had agreed to inject a further £250 million into the business with their shareholders and bankers. Now that travel restrictions are slightly relaxed , Eurostar hope to run two daily services on the London to Paris route from the 27th May. For further information click here: Eurostar secures £250m financing agreement with
OFFICIAL LAUNCH OF” THE EUROPEAN YEAR OF RAIL” This was formally launched under the current Portuguese Presidency of the EU on Monday 29th March. Working with Back on Track, Greenpeace and other environmental groups, we published an open letter outlining a 5 point action plan. The plan sets out specific actions needed to to achieve much improved cross-border and long distance rail services across Europe. For further information click here: – OPEN LETTER (greenpeace.org) EUROPEAN PUBLIC OPINION POLL SHOWS SUPPORT FOR SHIFTING FLIGHTS TO RAIL YouGov carried out a survey with a representative sample of over 6000 adults in 5 different EU countries in early February. The survey confirmed an increasing concern over the problem of transport related emissions. It also
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.
EUROSTAR NEEDS GOVERNMENT SUPPORT Due to Covid cross border travel restrictions, Eurostar services have been limited for most of the year so far to one daily London-Paris return run and one daily London- Brussels – Amsterdam run. We are calling on the UK, French & Belgian governments to provide financial support for our key rail link with contintental Europe.
START OF ” THE EUROPEAN YEAR OF RAIL “ At the end of December the European Union(EU) formally launched this initiative as part of their “Green New Deal” project. There will be a series of events during the year promoting rail. We are also expecting various planned improvements to the rail network to be “speeded-up” during the year. Although the UK is no longer a member of the EU, we are hoping that they will formally support this initiative. Further information at https://europa.eu/year-of-rail/index_en Scientific evidence: rail is Covid-safe The UIC (International Union of Railways) in December published a state-of-the-art document with examples of scientific evidence, case studies and mathematical models that shows that clusters of Covid-19 are rare on public transport
“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
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