Railway package: putting Europe’s rail sector on the right track

Trains might be safer and less polluting than other transport modes, but only 6% of passengers opt to travel this way. The EU’s fourth railway package aims to make rail travel more attractive by creating more competition and a common certification scheme for trains. These plans are currently being debated in Parliament. Find out the facts about Europe’s rail sector in our infographic and follow the debate between MEPs and experts on Tuesday 7 May live on our website.

Europe’s rail network remains fragmented along national lines and largely dominated by integrated rail companies that operate both the network and the trains running on it. This can make it difficult for new operators to enter the market.

The fourth railway legislative package intends to put an end to this by insisting on a greater separation between rail network management as well as the transport part of the business. In addition any operator should be able to enter the domestic rail market. These plans are currently being scrutinised by Parliament.

The new rules would also establish faster EU–wide certification for railway cars and locomotives, saving operators time and money and which should lead to lower ticket prices for passengers.

Both Parliament and member states have to approve the new rules before they can enter into force. The EP’s transport committee is due to vote on a recommendation on 26 November, while all MEPs are expected to vote on it during the plenary session in January 2014.


Source : europa.eu

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