Twenty-four leaders of European railway companies, including SNCF boss Jean-Pierre Farandou, want to work together to “improve the attractiveness of rail everywhere on the continent”, calling for “massive European investment” to create “a new European Railway Pact”.
“The train is the most eco-responsible motorized mode of transport”, plead the leaders in a column published in France in the Sunday Journal, lamenting that “the share of rail in the transport of passengers and goods remains so low “.
“A key role to play in the fight against climate change”
“Because we share the conviction that the railway has a key role to play in the fight against climate change, we are concretely committed to the development of the train in Europe”, they write before a “European railway summit” which must bring them together on Monday at the SNCF headquarters.
They promise an improvement in the customer experience, greener and more recyclable trains, an effort on innovation and more diversified recruitment, making more room for women and young people.
“This pact is ambitious: we will only succeed together”, despite the differences and competition between their companies, they claim. With “a common objective: to increase the share of rail in transport and thus contribute to achieving climate neutrality by 2050”.
“We need the Member States and the European Union. We call on them to support this pact by committing to setting clear modal shift targets at the national level,” the leaders insist.
“Better finance the rail system and public transport”
“New resources are needed to better finance the rail system and public transport. To invest massively in the modernization of rail networks, to increase their capacity and their interoperability, to modernize rolling stock, we need resources. »
They also call on Brussels and the Member States to “promote rules of fair competition between modes of transport”, in particular taking into account their ecological footprint.
The platform is signed on the French side by the CEO of SNCF Jean-Pierre Farandou, the general manager of Getlink (Eurotunnel) Yann Leriche and the president of Lisea (concessionaire of the Tours-Bordeaux line) Hervé Le Caignec, in addition to the general managers of Thalys and Eurostar, SNCF subsidiaries.
Also sign, among others, the bosses of the national companies of the German railways Deutsche Bahn, Austrian ÖBB, Belgian SNCB, Danish DSB, Finnish VR, Hungarian MÁV, Italian FS, Luxembourg CFL, Dutch NS, Portuguese CP, Slovenian SŽ and Swiss SBB.