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About our policies

Back-on-Track is a European network to support improved European cross-border passenger train traffic and night trains.

We organise events and meetings, and much has happened so far. Look in the menu (and sub-menus) above to find reports.

Our goals

The Back-on-Track network sees trains as:

  • One of the most environment friendly European long distance ways of travelling
  • An important part of the transport system to come, and not only a part of our history
  • A convenient way of travel to both leisure and business, all the year around

International trains as well as night trains and auto-trains are an integrated part of European railway traffic. Neglected night trains are a strong indicator of a dis-integrated and deteriorated rail system.

We think that…

  • Subsidies must be allowed, as long as trains suffer from unfair competition for instance compared to air planes.
  • Modern and reliable rail transport should be kept a public responsibility and kept as an integrated entity to the benefit of the passengers and not to shareholders. With good workplaces with a dedicated staff.
  • Railways shall keep a good level of service – easy to buy international tickets, one system for all tickets, not too expensive, with improved trains (night trains are suffering from old stock)
  • Good long-distance connections are needed – interconnected night trains and international day trains, with coordinated timetables
  • Night trains should connect a wide range of major cities and countries in Europe
  • Regional cross-border train connections should be developed

>> How we work

Position papers

13 thoughts on “About our policies”

  1. john hewitson

    An excellent initiative to find city to city transport and avoid the commute to the airport. Good work and best wishes.

  2. Vesna Manojlovic

    Can you please also provide a printable map, with white background ? Thanks!

    1. The programme used for maintaining the map does not export print-optimised versions. For professional tools that can export a printable version with every update we lack sufficient donations. However, there is a sufficient margin for A2 printouts, so any designer will be able to import the PDF and the fonts (as defined here: in a professional vector design programme like InDesign and provide you with a printable version within 10-15 minutes.

  3. Pingback: El tren nocturno resucita en Europa pero pasa de largo por España – Entre Vías

  4. Terence O'Connor

    I love night trains. I have fond memories of travel across Germany and Holland on them. I think this is a great initiative and believe this is the most eco friendly transportation we have in the EU.

  5. Why focus only on night trains?
    I suggest that what we need is a network that basically replaces the air travel network in Europe and also fights for closing down of airline connections, since many are kept in place, even after train connections have been started. (there are -for example- still numerous flights between Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam, even though these cities are connected by high speed train)
    What we need are competing businesses, like Virgin, Leo Express or OuiGo, that operate fast trains between capitals and major cities all over Europe, day AND night. Train builders should be seduced to develop multi-current trains that can operate smoothly across borders, in both day and night versions and that can deal with different signalling systems. They should be light, flexible trains of four to eight cars, with power packs that run on all European currents.
    On top of that: electric trains are not fully CO2 neutral; they depend largely on power plants that burn coal, lignite, oil, or gas. It would be praiseworthy to mention that trains should fully run on sustainable power. That would put them fully ahead of the crowd of airlines and cars.

    1. I am sure we dont disagree. But our focus on night trains came because this (important) element of long distance train journeys we left in completely missory, when we started 2014/15. It is a little bit better now, but we will keep the focus here, but not forget about what else you mention. Poul.

  6. Ik heb vandaag in de standaard het bericht gelezen ‘m. b. t. het terug invoeren van nachttreinen en lange-afstandstreinen. Ben helemaal gewonnen voor meer gebruik van trein. Sinds enkele jaren maken we bewust gebruik van de trein als reismiddel. De mogelijkheden zijn echter beperkt. Dus, wij willen graag uitbreiding!

  7. Arnaud Wieclawski

    I am really happy to discover your organisation. This is a big surprise for me and I would be really interested to join you, and especially the belgian part (if there’s any categorization by country). I already wrote to the SNCb to talk with them about the possibility to re-open the line doing Brussels-Luxembourg-Milan which was a must 10 years ago, and I want to do more, but I don’t really know what to do, maybe a petition ? I think that a good beginning would be to talk to you. Do you have a lot of contact with the french organisation “oui aux trains de nuit” that has published a wonderful report about the potential of night trains?
    I’m really glad to have found you anyway, i’m feeling much less lonely !


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