How can the raising climate awareness improve the night trains and international trains in Europe?

We should not wake up one morning and not have noticed the popular demand for climate friendly travel opportunities. We should be ahead, be prepared, and guide the movement to the best possible political and practical directions.

That’s why Back-on-Track activists were together with anti-flying activists, ngo’s, railway industry and politicians Friday 18.1. in Brussels.

We got a lot of positive and concrete feedback, which will be productive to our policies to the political campaigns this spring. The idea is to produce political statements which are enough radical to get moving, but enough realistic to avoid being rejected per automatic. 

In a short while we will be able to produce a report from our meeting and results will also be published here.

Our attention was brought to a brand new EU-report, called:

Modal shift in European transport: a way forward

From the observations in the report:

Rail could deliver further modal shift in specific transport demand segments, but at the cost of large investments. The development of high speed railway (HSR) alone does not seem to be sufficient to shift significantly passengers from road to rail. Due to the high costs related to HSR, investments should focus only where HSR has most potential, and also on upgrading selected sections of conventional lines – where the potential for modal split is higher – and the improvement of the reliability of HSR and conventional services. (…)

Three cross-sectional barriers have been identified relating to the lack of a level playing field between the modes. First, it is important to ensure that all modes of transport pay their full external costs. Second, the way in which different modes are taxed differs between modes and across Member States.

From the recommendations:

Adopt clear and definite measures to level the playing field. (…) For example, stakeholders and experts often claim that the differential treatment of the different modes, and the different charges and taxes that they face, are not fairly defined and applied according to the “polluter pays” principle.

SIC: Lets hope the text will lead to some actions upon the modal shift, also on the shift from airplanes to trains (and night trains).

The meeting too place at the nice CER office downtown Brussels
During the meeting
Participants posing to the picture

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