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:

May 2021

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: 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

April 2021

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 ( 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

March 2021

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.

February 2021

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.

January 2021

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 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

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

November 2020

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

October 2020

TEE 2.0 (TRANS EUROPE EXPRESS) A plan was recently published by the German Government for “International high speed and overnight rail services to promote climate change mitigation. ” The plan proposes 8 long distance day services and 8 new overnight services across Europe”. Some services could be set up with the current infrastructure and others can be set up once planned improvements to the infrastructure are completed. The plan has also been supported by the European Commission. MORE BAD NEWS FROM EUROSTAR >> Due to the Covid situation they only running two return services a day from London to Paris and only one daily return service to Brussels. We then issued a press release outlining our concerns over the long-term

September 2020

MORE NIGHT TRAINS PLANNED Both Austrian and Hungarian State Railways have recently ordered new rolling stock for Night trains. The Swedish Government is inviting train operators to run new services from Hamburg to Stockholm and Brussels to Malmo from 2022. Also , from 2022 two new services are planned from Paris to Nice and Paris to Tarbes. This will open up further travel opportunities for UK residents connecting with daytime Eurostar services via Paris & Brussels. Back-on-Track(Belgium) are actively campaigning for Brussels to become the new European Hub for up to 5 different night train services. HOW SAFE IS RAIL UNDER COVID 19 ? Recent research both by German Railways and the UK Rail Safety & Standards board suggest that