Press releases & media

Statements

Brussels & Glasgow,

COP26 video statement: Rail market opening must be a top priority

ALLRAIL's Secretary General Nick Brooks makes a video statement regarding the COP26.

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Brussels,

New articles by Investigate Europe reveal growth of cross-border rail is hampered by protectionism

In a major new set of articles, independent reports from Investigate Europe have revealed that the growth of European cross-border passenger rail is still severely hampered by many national governments protecting their state-owned railway companies.

In the 6-7 countries where it has been allowed to happen so far, market liberalisation has really boosted modal shift to rail.

Yet in most of Europe we still see governments deliberately delaying rail liberalisation until the 2030s and sabotaging the goals of the EU Green Deal.

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Brussels & Berlin,

Joint press release: Rail infrastructure focused on the public interest is necessary for modal shift to rail in Germany

The vertical integration of rail infrastructure managers and market dominant rail operators does not work, as we have seen in many examples in recent years, such as in France, which has some of the highest track access fees in Europe.

Instead, it is unbundling that drives innovation, quality, efficiency and jobs. With coalition negotiations taking place in Germany right now, it is crucial to have a rail infrastructure there that is focused on the public interest - and not the interests of operators within the same holding company. A new 2nd Rail Reform in Germany is urgently necessary.

Read the press release
Brussels,

New CNN article shows how competition in passenger rail has severely reduced air travel

In a major new article, the global news channel CNN shows how competition in long distance passenger rail in Italy has led to a huge growth in passengers and reduced the domestic flight market.

Read the press release
Pris & Brussels,

Landmark judgement in CORSICA: €86m fine because Public Service Obligation not justified – relevant to passenger rail

The Corsica Island authority has been fined €86 million due to an unjustified Public Service Obligation (‘PSO’) subsidy for the state ferry operator SNCM compared to a privately owned competitor1.

This case is 100% relevant to EU passenger rail. Some EU countries are being lobbied hard by their state rail incumbents to directly award PSO contracts. There is high risk that – like in Corsica – such PSOs will be an unjustified & wasteful use of subsidy - with no benefit for passengers or the environment.

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Brussels,

United States of America: President Biden is pushing for more competition – but this must include long distance passenger rail

Last week, it was reported that a newly formed White House Council will promote competition across the US economy1, in order to “drive down prices for consumers”, encouraging companies to “up their game” and become more innovative.

This is exactly what happened in EU long distance passenger rail over the past decade - in those countries where competition has been allowed so far.

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Brussels,

EU state-owned rail incumbents are showing that competition – and not collusion – will bring new passengers to rail

Last week, it was reported that Ouigo España – a subsidiary of the French state-owned rail incumbent SNCF – has already achieved 400,000 passengers in the first three months of competing against Spanish incumbent Renfe in the Spanish domestic high speed rail market.

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Brussels,

Breites Verbändebündnis im Schienensektor: Stärkung des Verkehrsträgers Schiene erfordert echte Bahnreform 2.0. Bahnreform ist keine Diskussion von Vorgestern!

Eine grundlegende Reform des Systems Schiene hält ein breit aufgestelltes Bündnis aus dem Schienensektor jetzt für erforderlich. Die Bahnreform II sei keinesfalls eine Diskussion von vorgestern, sondern für heute, morgen und übermorgen. Aktiver Klimaschutz im Verkehrsbereich könne nur durch eine echte Verkehrsverlagerung auf die Schiene als ein Bestandteil der Mobilitätswende gelingen. Für die Erreichung der dahinterstehenden politischen Ziele, wie die Einführung des Deutschlandtaktes und dem dafür zwingenden Aus- und Neubau sowie der Modernisierung der Schieneninfrastruktur, sei unumgänglich. Diese Position vertritt ein breites Bündnis aus dem Schienensektor in einem heute in Berlin veröffentlichten Positionspapier.

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Brussels,

Virtual event taking place today from 16.00-17.30 CEST: The European Startup Prize for Mobility presents the European Startup Manifesto on Rail

In this current EU Year of Rail 2021, ALLRAIL is proud to be a partner of the “European Startup Prize for mobility” 1, a competition and acceleration programme backed by both the EU Parliament & EU Commission that promotes innovation to achieve more sustainable mobility solutions.

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Brussels,

More growth in EU cross-border night trains But many high barriers to entry must still be removed

In ten days’ time from now, on June 27th 2021, a new night train service of the long distance operator Snälltåget1 will depart from Stockholm to Berlin. It will be the first night train that runs in regular traffic between Sweden, Denmark and Germany since the 1990s. Yesterday, the start-up Midnight Trains announced plans to offer night trains between France & other countries. Clearly, private investors believe in night trains – and this will lead to modal shift. But more night time routes could be commercially viable – if only the high barriers to entry were removed.

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Brussels,

COVID-19 recovery funds risk closing down the long distance passenger rail market in Poland

The Polish government’s new draft recovery plan foresees the purchase of significant amount of new long distance rail rolling stock: 38 Push-Pull train sets and 45 locomotives with subsidy of €482.5 million. But with a big catch: the state-owned long distance rail operator “PKP Intercity” is the only beneficiary.

Read the press release
Brussels,

Krajowy Plan Odbudowy zagrożeniem zamknięcia rynku kolejowego w Polsce Pozbawienie sensu jednolitego europejskiego obszaru kolejowego

Nowy polski rządowy projekt planu odbudowy przewiduje zakup dużej ilości taboru kolejowego dla połączeń dalekobieżnych za znaczące środki pienieżne: 38 zestawów kolejowych typu Push-Pull oraz 45 lokomotyw z dotacją 482,5 miliona euro. W pozornie dobrej informacji, jest ale jeden haczyk: jedynym beneficjentem jest państwowy operator kolejowy PKP Intercity.

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Brussels,

To celebrate EU Green Week 2021, ALLRAIL is proud to become a partner of the EU Startup Prize for Mobility

In this current EU Green Week, ALLRAIL is proud to become a new partner of the 2021 “European Startup Prize for mobility” 1, which is competition backed by EU Parliament & EU Commission promoting more innovation in order to achieve sustainable mobility.

Rail still has less than 8% market share in European passenger transport. Finally it is time to reduce the cost of entry for startups so that they can introduce new concepts that will achieve modal shift to rail.

Read the press release
Brussels,

Ban flights on European routes that trains can reach in 4 hours or less and when there are night trains

earlier this month, France banned domestic flights on routes where passengers can complete the same journey by train in under 2 ½ hours. This is welcome indeed – France must be commended! But 2 ½ hours is not enough to cover all high speed rail journeys within the country. And why not apply the same measure to cross-border rail journeys as well? Last but not least, what about a similar measure to grow night trains?

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Brussels,

Incumbent cross-border rail freight cartel is exposed. This must be prevented in EU passenger rail

This week, a cross-border cartel between the state rail incumbents ÖBB, DB & SNCB was exposed. According to the EU Commission, they colluded to protect their business, harming sustainable transport. This example demonstrates the great deal of harm that incumbent cross-border collaborations can do to long distance passenger rail as well. Rather than being exempt from competition law, such cartels must be strictly prevented.

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Brussels,

Two more new cross-border night trains that will “Connect Europe” and lead to higher demand for rail

Yesterday it was announced that there will be two more new EU cross-border Open Access night trains 1. One of them will even link four capital cities during the same night: Brussels, Amsterdam, Berlin & Prague. They will both provide night train services that do not yet exist.

YouTube Video: EU Year of Rail 2021 - The Future of Passenger Rail

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Brussels,

Sector stakeholder statement on international rail passenger services

On behalf of the Sector Mirror Group, consisting of representatives of railway undertakings (CER/ALLRAIL/UIC/CIT), infrastructure managers (EIM/CER/UIC), railway suppliers (UNIFE), passenger and consumers’ organisations (EPF/BEUC), travel companies (EU Travel Tech/ECTAA) and distributors (EU Travel Tech/ALLRAIL), the co-chairs wish to make the following announcement.  

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Brussels,

EU Year of Rail kick-off in Lisbon with new long distance Open Access rail in Portugal & Europe

LISBON, March 29th 2021: today is the Kick-off event for the EU Year of Rail 2021.

In order to celebrate this, ALLRAIL is pleased to highlight the growing number of privately owned passenger rail operators investing in NEW long distance Open Access services. These will lead to modal shift in Europe. For example:

Read the press release
Brussels,

SNCF is asking for up to €585 million state aid for Eurostar while spending €600 million on new operator

There must be strict competition remedies. SNCF should not receive state aid without conditions in one place while expanding unchecked elsewhere.

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Brussels & Stockholm,

COVID-19 in Sweden: the discrimination against long distance passenger rail must end

Despite being the country of Greta Thunberg, Sweden continues to treat airlines better during the current pandemic.

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Brussels & London / Paris,

COVID-19: Yes to financial aid for Eurostar but STOP the SCRAPPING !!

At the end of last week, there were reports that the governments of the United Kingdom and France will provide COVID-19 financial aid to Eurostar, the only passenger rail operator between these two countries. If Eurostar is to be helped financially, then two things are a sheer must:

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Brussels,

ALLRAIL online press conference (23rd September) – Passenger rail facing the second wave of COVID-19

Fair competition in the rail sector is crucial to securing EU climate change goals and sustainable recovery

Panelists: Erich Forster, President ALLRAIL & CEO WESTbahn

Christian Schreyer, Vice-President ALLRAIL & Transdev CEO for North & Central Europe

Nick Brooks, Secretary General ALLRAIL

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Brussels,

Podcast: ALLRAIL members on The Comeback of Night Trains in Europe

• Aleš Ondrůj, Senior Director Communications, RegioJet
• Carl Adam Holmberg, Head of Snälltåget
• Nick Brooks, Secretary General ALLRAIL
• Barbora Mičková, Policy Officer ALLRAIL
-> Recorded 17th June 2020

Links:
YouTube
Podcast (Spotify)

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Brussels,

Podcast: Passenger rail after COVID-19: Update from the Member States, YouTube & Podcast discussion

After COVID-19 webinar in April 2020 ALLRAIL issued a discussion on YouTube and Podcast channels.

First episode on the impact of COVID-19 on our members:
YouTube - Key points (10min.)
YouTube Full version (50min.)
Podcast (Spotify)
Podcast (Apple)
Podcast (Google)

ALLRAIL: PASSENGER RAIL AFTER COVID-19: Update from the Member States
Brussels,

ALLRAIL presentation on international passenger rail transport: How to stimulate international passenger rail?

Arthur Kamminga presented ALLRAIL vision on the topic of "How to stimulate international passenger rail?" at the Hearing on European support for international passenger rail transport at the Commission for Mobility of the Belgian House of Representatives, taking place on 17th December 2019 at the Chamber of Representatives of Belgium. 

 

 

YouTube video
RailTech,

Criticism of new concession to NMBS by Belgian government

ALLRAIL, the alliance of newcomers to passenger rail transport in Europe, has strongly criticised plans by the Belgian government to once again award a public service contract to NMBS/SNCB for ten years. This would leave the railway monopoly with NMBS/SNCB until 2033 and, according to ALLRAIL, would block innovations in the railway sector.

Link to the original article
Nieuwsite Duurzaam Mobiel,

Verzet tegen onderhands gegunde openbare dienstverplichtingen voor nachttreinen

Op 13 november (2021) stuurden de Belgische, Deense en Zweedse ministers van vervoer en mobiliteit een brief naar Adina-Ioana Valean, EU-commissaris voor vervoer. Daarin verzoeken ze om ‘passende maatregelen’ te nemen die het inleggen van nachttreinen beter haalbaar maken. Dat maakte de gezaghebbende Deense krant ‘Politiken’ bekend. Aanleiding voor deze brief is dat deze zomer (2021) de gewenste en geplande nachttrein tussen Malmo en Brussel werd geschrapt “omdat geen enkele exploitant een bod heeft uitgebracht op het traject”. Voor Benny Engelbrecht, de Deense minister van vervoer, staat de EU voor een gemeenschappelijke uitdaging om een goed kader voor nachttreinen te creëren. Knelpunt is de Duitse wetgeving die niet toelaat dat treinreizen van meer dan 50 km worden gesubsidieerd. Deze brief schoot echter in het verkeerde keelgat van ALLRAIL, belangenvereniging van onafhankelijke exploitanten van passagierstreinen en verkopers van vervoersbewijzen, die op haar beurt de EU-commissie aanschreef.

Link to the original article
Rynek-Kolejowy,

ALLRAIL: zakup push-pulli przez PKP Intercity zaszkodzi rynkowi

ALLRAIL– reprezentant prywatnych operatorów kolejowych w Europie, zwraca uwagę na negatywne aspekty zakupu przez PKP Intercity nowych piętrowych zestawów push-pull. –Tam, gdzie mają się pojawić, z powodzeniem mogliby operować przewoźnicy prywatni lub działa już przewoźnik samorządowy – pisze w liście do redakcji AllRail.
 
– Potwierdza się czarny scenariusz, przed którym w czerwcu przestrzegał ALLRAIL – środki z funduszu COVID-19 Recovery & Resilience zostaną wykorzystane do zamykania i zaburzania rynku kolejowego w Polsce – pisze na początku maila ALLRAIL.
Link to the original article
VRT,

VRT: Eurostar. Ce que les concurrents reprochent à la SNCF

Les opérateurs ferroviaires européens réunis au sein de l’association ALLRAIL réagissent à la demande d’un soutien public formulée par la SNCF pour sa filiale Eurostar en très mauvaise posture avec la chute du trafic liée à la pandémie. Le secrétaire général de ALLRAIL, Nick Brooks, explique à VRT la position de son association qui réclame notamment la possibilité d’accéder aux rames TGV d’occasion de la SNCF si Eurostar obtient une aide publique.

Link to the original article
Le Figaro,

Le Figaro: Des opérateurs alternatifs réclament l’accès aux rames TGV d’occasion de la SNCF

«Allrail est favorable aux aides d'État pour aider Eurostar, mais il doit y avoir des mesures correctives strictes en matière de concurrence. Par exemple, la SNCF doit donner aux opérateurs indépendants un accès égal à ses rames TGV et Eurostar d'occasion, -comme celles qu'elle fournit à sa filiale Ouigo- à des conditions commerciales équitables, raisonnables et non discriminatoires», a déclaré le groupement dans un communiqué. «La SNCF ne doit pas recevoir des aides d'État sans aucune condition à un endroit et se développer sans contrôle ailleurs», ont ajouté les opérateurs alternatifs.

 

 

Link to the original article
Rail Insider,

Rail Insider: Eurostar emergency funding – French and/or British?

... This raises the question of state-owned companies using state money to finance operations in other countries. Requesting aid from the British and French governments has freed up the cash for SNCF to compete with Spanish state-owned operator Renfe in its own country. If the UK and French treasuries don’t play ball, will SNCF let Eurostar go bust while it spend the much-needed funds in launching Ouigo España?

 

Link to the original article
Tangent magazine,

Tangent magazine: Eurostar Bailout: calls for market opening remedies which support on-rail competition

Taxpayer subsidiaries are expected to top over £10bn by the end of 2021. Nick Brooks, secretary general of Alliance of Passenger Rail New Entrants in Europe (ALLRAIL), explained: “We believe that in this crisis all operators, at least in the same country, should be treated the same fair and equal way.”

 

 

Link to the original article
Railway Gazette,

Railway Gazette: Call for Eurostar trains to be made available to support on-rail competition

The ALLRAIL association of new entrants to the rail market has said any government support which might be offered to Eurostar during the coronavirus pandemic should be accompanied by conditions designed to facilitate cross-Channel competition.

Link to the original article -> 

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The Telegraph,

The Telegraph: Eurostar bailout should trigger more rail support, say operators

Allrail said: “Rail traffic between the two countries is run on a commercially driven open access business model. If the UK Government wants to give Covid-19 financial aid, then all other long distance open access passenger rail operators in the country  such as Hull Trains, must also be supported.”

Link to the original article -> 

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РБК-Украина,

Ник Брукс: Не знаю примеров в Европе, где грузовые операторы субсидируют пассажирские перевозки

Украинские железные дороги имеют большой потенциал, но однозначно нуждаются в реформе. К реформам "Укразализныци" Украину призывает и Европейские Союз. Глава ALLRail – международной организации пассажирского транспорта в Европе, Ник Брукс рассказал о том, как железные дороги реформировали в Европе и какой опыт может позаимствовать Украина.

 

Link to the original article
Railway Gazette,

Railway Gazette: Call for booking platforms to be given access to train operators’ data

EUROPE: The ALLRAIL association of independent passenger train operators and retailers has called on EU member states to ensure that market-dominant incumbent operators share their data with third party journey planning and ticket selling platforms.

Link to the original article->

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Railway Gazette,

Railway Gazette: Passenger groups raise concerns about EU passenger rights recast

...ALLRAIL believed that the agreement could lead to further erosion of the availability of through tickets. Mandatory through ticketing with liability for any delay compensation lying with the causer of that delay would have been the ‘fairest and most effective way’ to improve performance, it said, suggesting that making passenger rail travel more attractive would generate additional revenue outweighing the potential cost of compensation.

 

-> Link to the original article

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IRJ,

IRJ: AllRail calls for balanced state support as Covid-19 hits private operators

The Alliance of Passenger Rail New Entrants (AllRail) has called for zero track access fees, backdated to March and running until the end of 2021, along with government subsidies to cover losses for all passenger rail operators and ticket vendors for 18 months, beginning in October.

-> Link to the original article

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Politico,

POLITICO: Why Europe’s rail renaissance risks running out of steam

Next summer, Czech operator RegioJet intends to expand its five-country night train running from Prague to the Croatian coast, while Flixtrain has mulled offering its own sleepers in France.The Swedish government has pledged to fund a night train to Brussels from 2022, but in parallel Snälltåget, a private company, is promising to increase its own service next year on the Stockholm to Berlin route. Snälltåget’s manager Carl Adam Holmberg says policymakers can do more to help out the industry by reducing track access charges — the fixed per kilometer fee for using the track — rather than just looking to subsidize routes by big state players.

->Link to the original article

Link to the original article
Handelsblatt,

Handelsblatt: Gewinner statt Krisenverlierer: Reise-Start-up Omio sammelt 100 Millionen Dollar ein

.... „Die Lage ist sehr ernst. Die Marktöffnung selbst, die bei andere Verkehrsträger beflügelt hat, ist bei der Eisenbahn ernsthaft in Gefahr“, sagt Allrail-Generalsekretär Nick Brooks. Allrail ist ein Zusammenschluss junger Unternehmen, die sich als Konkurrenten der ehemaligen Staatsbahnen im Güter- und Personenverkehr verstehen.

 

Link to the original article
N-TV.de,

N-TV.de: Investoren glauben an Omio Reise-Startup sichert sich Rekordsumme

.... Gemeinsam mit anderen europäischen Mobilitäts-Startups hat sich Omio bei der EU-Kommission erst kürzlich über staatliche Corona-Hilfen für die Deutsche Bahn und andere Staatsbahnen beschwert. "Wir befürchten, dass die Covid-19-Maßnahmen nur staatlichen Eisenbahnen helfen, den Markt weiter verzerren und das Wachstum bei Wettbewerbern unumkehrbar und langfristig limitieren", schrieb die Lobbygruppe Allrail in einem Brief an Vize-Kommissionspräsidentin Margrethe Vestager.

Link to the original article
Eurail press,

Eurail press: Nick Brooks: Privater Fernverkehr ist ausgebremst

Nick Brooks ist Generalsekretär des Lobby-Verbandes Allrail mit Sitz in Brüssel, der sich auf europäischer Ebene für die Etablierung privater Unternehmen im Schienenpersonenverkehr einsetzt.

 

Link to the original article
The Guardian,

The Guardian: ‘People don’t want to fly’: Covid-19 reawakens Europe’s sleeper trains

Nick Brooks The Guardian:....governments should also prohibit airlines receiving state bailouts from operating any short-haul or late-night flights that could be done by train. “This pandemic must lead to a better appreciation for rail,” he said.

 

Link to the original article
Rynek Kolejowy,

Rynek Kolejowy: Niemcy dotują DB, zamiast liberalizować rynek? Flixtrain rozważa skargę do ETS

Udzielone DB państwowe finansowanie dla zakupu taboru dużych prędkości przyczyni się do utrwalenia obecnej struktury rynku. Konkurowanie z dominującym graczem stanie się jeszcze bardziej utrudnione – ostrzega przewodniczący stowarzyszenia europejskich niezależnych przewoźników pasażerskich AllRail. W jego opinii Niemcy tracą w ten sposób dobrą okazję do otwarcia rynku przewozów dalekobieżnych.

 

Link to the original article
Brussels,

IRJ: FlixTrain calls for action over DB rescue package

International Railway Journal: FlixTrain calls for action over DB rescue package. The CEO and co-founder of FlixTrain parent FlixBus, Mr André Schwämmlein, has written to the European commissioner for competition, Ms Margrethe Vestager, calling for measures to balance competition in the German rail market.

Link to the original article

Link to the original article