Press release from Back-on-Track, European network to promote cross-border and night trains
The todays press conference on enhanced cooperation between DB (Germany), ÖBB (Austria), SBB (Switzerland) and SNCF (France) introduced an expansion of ÖBB’s NightJet network of night trains, showing the right way forward when it comes to alternatives to flying in Europe. Modern night trains can replace many flights within the range of 500 to 1.500 km, as passengers can sleep while being transported in an environmentally friendly way. Since its founding in 2015, Back on Track has advocated for this transport solution: Night trains are necessary elements in a 24-hour European train network.
Despite our joy at the good intentions and strong ambitions demonstrated at today’s press conference, there is a strong need for the initiative to grow in volume and spread to more regions in Europe.
The cooperation must not be exclusive to those who arranged the press conference. Partners who want to contribute to the future network of night trains must have the option to do so. The EU as a supranational actor can contribute with investments and coordination; but we also call for the participation of railway operators from smaller states, and of private operators who have shown the ability and willingness to introduce their own night train routes.
The regions that also need to be included in concrete plans for new night train services are:
- The Iberian Peninsula; with Lisbon, Madrid and Barcelona
- Scandinavia; with Copenhagen, Stockholm and Oslo
- Eastern Europe; with Belgrade, Budapest and Bucharest
We very much hope that tomorrow’s announcement by the European Commission on “Green Mobility” will show that the EU is a worthy and dedicated partner in the necessary development of Europe’s railways and night trains as a follow-up to what was presented today.
Joachim Holstein (DE), email@example.com
Nicolas Forien (FR), firstname.lastname@example.org
Poul Kattler (DK), email@example.com
Belgium Back-on-Track, firstname.lastname@example.org
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