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.
On Thursday March 24th I was in Brussels for the first time in two years, attending the conference organised by Back-on-Track Belgium on the theme “Night Trains – Back to the Future?!” A hundred of us filled the room and others listened in by video link, for presentations and discussion on Brussels as a night train hub, private initiatives, the economics of night trains and issues of ticketing and passenger rights. Displayed around the room were the winning and shortlisted posters promoting night trains – the result of a competition organised by Back-on-Track Belgium in 2021 which had attracted nearly 90 entrants. We were welcomed by Georges Gilkinet, Belgian Federal Minister of Mobility, who expressed confidence that his country would
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.
At last – Eurostar our only direct rail link to Europe is now running more frequent services, even if the fares on offer are not as cheap as before the pandemic. There are now around 10 services/daily to Paris, 3-4 to Brussels & Lille and 2 to Amsterdam. Ideally there should be an hourly service to Paris and at least one train every 2 hours to Brussels to make it easy to connect into other services to/from Paris & Brussels. We now look forward to Eurostar restoring services at Ashford International.
For many years Brussels has been the best place to make easy daytime connections from Eurostar into Germany & beyond. The Belgian Government have recently announced they will be spending up to 2 million Euros, to see how Brussels can be used to accommodate the growing number of night trains planned in the next few years. For further information see: https://www.bruzz.be/mobiliteit/twee-miljoen-voor-uitbouw-van-brussel-als-nachttreinhub-2021-10-14
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)
After greeting 500 other activists, a few politicians and railway managers on 30th October off the “Rail to the the COP” first leg on Eurostar at London St Pancras, our roving reporter Ian McDonald then guided them to their special Avanti West Coast train at London Euston for the 2nd leg of their journey. He then went onto Glasgow a week later for the Transport Day of debate and action on 10 November. While he was there you can see that he took the opportunity to promote our campaign. Most people he spoke to agreed that investment in railways rather than battery powered cars is far more effective in combating climate change.