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Bike carriage on long-distance trains

The European Cyclist’ Federation has made a collection of good practice examples from across Europe that give cyclists a smile:


It is possible to get more people to use long-distance and international rail services and thereby help to reduce Green House Gas (GHG) emissions in EU – and it only takes seven simple steps.

Today, on the 13th March 2017, European Cycling Federation (ECF) has launched its new report called ‘Bikes and Trains: 7 basic services that give cyclists a smile‘. The report lists seven main services that should be in place in order to encourage railway customers to combine bicycle and long distance and international and train trips, and chose this alternative over private motor vehicles for seamless door-to-door trips. Besides listing these seven services, the report also provides best practice examples from across Europe. It is based on a position paper ‘Bike and Train: A European Odyssey’ that ECF published in 2012 and that highlighted a need to for railway companies to meet the basics requirements of cyclists. Since then, many improvements have been made, however, even more is still to be done.

‘EU has set clear goals to decarbonise the transportation sector and to move towards more sustainable modes of transport. Trains and bicycles have a great potential in replacing less sustainable modes, such as private motor vehicles. However, attractive services have to be offered to influence people’s travel choices’ – commented Ádám Bodor, Advocacy Director of the ECF.

While the EU’s goal is to limit GHG emissions, since 1990 transport GHG emissions have in fact increased by about 20 %. Even though trains offer much more sustainable solution compared to air travelling or private motor vehicles, railways’ share of the modal split has grown insignificantly over the past 20 years. Therefore, this report aims at encouraging railway companies to follow the best practice examples not only to put a smile on the faces of cyclists but also to get more people to use their services.

‘We have tried to provide a guide for everybody. For the rail operators, it gives an overview of the measures that should be implemented in order to encourage combining bike and train trips and, ultimately, attract more passengers to the railways. For the cycling enthusiasts and lobbyists it highlights the good practices already available in parts of Europe and hopefully provides some inspiration about what should be achievable in their country. While for decision makers it shows that combining bikes and trains can be a successful mobility choice if the right measures are put in place’ – said one of the authors of this report Ed Lancaster, ECF Cycling Tourism and Regional Policy Officer.

>> See the full report

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