Train Over Plane: A new campaign to replace short haul flights
ALLRAIL and one of our members – the online travel comparison and booking portal Omio – are both partners in a new campaign to replace short haul flights with rail, in order to decarbonise the transport sector. The campaign is spearheaded by SilverRail Technologies and there are ten other organisations that are partnering with it as well.
Another flaw of vertical integration: One operator is on strike, so all the others have to stop as well
Yesterday, the Austrian state-owned rail incumbent Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) was on strike. Since the incumbent rail operator and infrastructure manager are vertically integrated in Austria, it led to the infrastructure manager being on strike as well. Therefore, ÖBB's competitors such as WESTbahn and RegioJet were unable to operate their trains even though they were not on strike.
Today is the launch of iryo, first privately owned high-speed rail operator in Spain
On 21st November at 10.25 am CET, the inaugural service of iryo will depart from Madrid to Valencia. iryo is the first privately owned high-speed rail operator in Spain.
Its brand-new trains are yet another example of commercially driven Open Access long-distance services that focus upon sustainability, service and lower fares, leading to faster modal shift to rail.
[Global Ukraine Rail Task Force] Russian Railways (‘RZD’) is not telling the whole story
Russian Railways RZD sent an appeal to the Council of the European Union with the urgent request to lift the sanctions that were placed upon it just days after Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
However, RZD keeps playing a crucial role in supporting and protracting Russia's ongoing aggression against Ukraine.
Britain’s long distance rail fares could fall by over 40% by adopting Europe’s proven ‘Third Way’ model
In the ‘Open Access’ long-distance passenger rail model, rail operators are able to set fares, product and frequencies based upon meeting and growing passenger demand, rather than being confined to pre-set fares or timetables specified by Government or transport authorities.
In a growing number of countries, ‘Open Access’ long-distance operators fully compete against each other on the same route, which has led to higher frequencies, lower fares and savings for the taxpayer.
If Britain adopted the 'Open Access' model for long-distance passenger rail, fares could fall by over 40%.
[Global Ukraine Rail Task Force] A Marshall Plan is needed for the Ukrainian rail sector
The Global Ukraine Rail Task Force welcomes the "New Marshall Plan" idea towards supporting the reconstruction of Ukraine. The Task Force calls for the allocation of sufficient funds to help rebuild the Ukrainian rail sector, which played a key role in Ukraine's resilience.
Yet again: Evidence shows that commercially driven long-distance trains bring about faster modal shift to rail
In its first year on the British East Coast Main Line, new entrant Lumo will have carried one million passengers, helped rail overtake air travel between London and Edinburgh in terms of market share, and lowered the prices.
Once again, above-the-tracks competition in long-distance passenger rail yield exactly what we have already seen in similar cases elsewhere in Europe: more innovation, better service and lower fares that lead to a quantifiable modal shift to rail.
Call for donations – Help Ukraine’s rail workers in their critical mission
The Global Ukraine Rail Task Force has set up a donation campaign dedicated to helping the Ukrainian rail sector. The proceeds collected will contribute to the well-being of Ukrainian rail workers (protective gear, financial aid to the families of the deceased, etc.).
Evidence shows that when state-owned incumbents compete with each other on cross-border routes, then there is much faster modal shift to rail
Once again, it has been proven that competition between passenger rail operators on the same tracks is the key driver for a fast modal shift. This also applies to competition between state incumbents.
Indeed, nine months since French incumbent SNCF and Italian incumbent FS Trenitalia started competing on the Paris - Lyon - Milan route, the total number of passengers has grown by 58%.
Therefore, competition - rather than collaboration - between state incumbents on cross-border routes is needed to draw passengers away from non-sustainable modes of transport.
Brandbrief: tunnelvisie IenW blokkeert ontwikkeling Hoofdrailnet
Europese belangenorganisatie ALLRAIL waarschuwt de Vaste Kamercommissie voor Infrastructuur en Waterstaat in een brandbrief dat een “extreme tunnelvisie” op het Ministerie van Infrastructuur en Waterstaat de ontwikkeling van het Nederlandse Hoofdrailnet blokkeert. Daarnaast ligt het ministerie op ramkoers met de Europese Commissie doordat IenW weigert Europese marktordeningsregels na te leven, waarmee zij de geloofwaardigheid van het Europese spoorbeleid ondermijnt.
Helping Ukraine’s Rail System in its Critical Mission
The Global Ukraine Rail Task Force's chair Jolene Molitoris is pleased to announce some new members:
- Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (Co-Chair of Ukrainian Congressional Caucus in the US House of Representatives) as the new Honorary Chair,
- Mr Oleksandr Kamyshin, the CEO of Ukrainian Railways,
- Mr Peter Gibbons, Chief Security Officer of the UK infrastructure manager Network Rail.
Poland: hindering competition to protect the incumbent
On 29 July, based on the so-called Economic Equilibrium Test (EET), the Polish Office of Rail Transport (UTK) rejected 84% of the applications for commercially driven services in Poland submitted by our member RegioJet.
Concurrently, Polish incumbent PKP Intercity applied for multiple open access claiming the same or similar connections which were rejected in the case of Regiojet, mostly for the Kraków-Warsaw-Gdynia rail line. This time, no EET will be carried out. Bad news for passengers and rail market opening in Poland.
Polska: blokowanie konkurencji w celu ochrony państwowego operatora
W dniu 29 lipca, Urząd Transportu Kolejowego (UTK), na podstawie badania równowagi ekonomicznej, odrzucił znaczącą większość wniosków członka ALLRAIL, RegioJet, w zakresie świadczenia pasażerskich przewozów komercyjnych w Polsce – zatwierdzono zaledwie 16% planowanej oferty.
Jednocześnie, państwowy operator kolejowy PKP Intercity zawnioskował o szereg połączeń w ramach otwartego dostępu, ubiegając się o usługi tożsame lub podobne do tych, które zostały odrzucone w przypadku RegioJet na trasie Kraków-Warszawa-Gdynia. W tym przypadku nie zostanie przeprowadzone badanie równowagi ekonomicznej, co źle wróży dla pasażerów oraz liberalizacji rynku kolejowego w Polsce.
New through-tickets between Kyiv (Ukraine) and Prague (Czech Republic)
Privately owned railway operator and ALLRAIL member RegioJet and Ukrainian Railways (Ukrzaliznytsia) have created a new through-ticket between Prague (Czech Republic) and Kyiv (Ukraine).
The single through-ticket will cover the entire journey between the Czechian and Ukrainian capital cities, via Przemyśl (Poland).
Air travel chaos in Europe: Rail can help
Passengers wishing to take off from European airports are currently experiencing massive disruptions caused by a toxic mix of price hikes, long delays and large-scale flight cancellations. This demonstrates that the aviation sector is unable to cope with the sudden return of demand.
It is time to end competition between rail and air, and for the aviation sector to transfer their short-haul flights to the train. Rail travel is a stress-free and eco-friendly way to travel around Europe.
Passenger rail has room to grow to satisfy the higher demand, and it can grow even quicker if EU and national stakeholders provide additional immediate support to railway operators for setting up new services.
Such support must help alleviate the high initial costs faced by new entrants when setting up new services, in addition to increasing energy prices.
Memorandum of Understanding on the study ‘Smart and Affordable High-Speed Services in the European Union’ signed on 29 June 2022
In the context of the French Presidency of the European Union, the signature of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER), the Alliance of Passenger Rail New Entrants in Europe (ALLRAIL), the European Rail Supply Industry (UNIFE) and the Europe’s Rail Joint Undertaking (EU-RAIL), took place in presence of Walter Goetz, Head of Cabinet of the European Transport Commissioner Adina Vălean, during the Connecting Europe Days in Lyon on 29 June 2022.
The objective of the Memorandum of Understanding is a study on ‘Smart and Affordable High-Speed Services in the European Union’. The event was the perfect occasion for the European railway and transport community to acknowledge the importance of research and to officially launch the collaboration for the study that will serve as a hub for knowledge exchange.
Travel and rail industry partner with civil society calling on policy makers to shift to rail
ALLRAIL, along with other European actors of the rail and travel sector, rail industry, civil society, passengers associations call on European Institutions and Member states to take bold actions now to achieve a climate-friendly transport system by 2030.
The “Connecting Europe Days” event of 2022 – It is not possible to have a seamless European Rail Area if you still need a separate agreement in each country
The “Connecting Europe Days”, Europe’s flagship event to promote a single transport network, will begin today in Lyon.
But the facts tell a different story: If we want a seamless European rail network, why is it still necessary for passenger rail operators to find a partner each time they cross an internal EU border? This undermines the point of a Single Rail Area.
Hindering Fair Access to 2nd Hand Rolling Stock Will Weaken Commercially Driven Long Distance Cross-border Passenger Rail in Europe, Leading to Unnecessary Public Service Obligations (PSOs)
The EU Commission (‘EC’) announced that it had come to the preliminarily conclusion that the state-owned rail incumbents Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) and Czech Railways (ČD) breached EU competition rules by colluding to hinder access to used 2nd hand rolling stock for the commercially driven new entrant cross-border passenger rail operator RegioJet.
But there is a further implication: if the EC’s allegations are true - then hindering access to 2nd hand rolling stock is being used to engineer market failure. New entrant operators are then less able to start commercially driven services, because they are not getting fair access to wagons, and there is very little alternative supply.
Consequently, such engineered ‘Market Failure’ will lead to unnecessary taxpayer-funded Public Service Obligations (PSOs) in long distance cross-border rail.
The HUGE Mistake In the EU Action Plan To Boost Long-distance & Cross-Border Passenger Rail
It is with disbelief that independent passenger rail operators note how, in the EU Parliament Transport Committee’s Draft Report of the EU Action Plan to boost long-distance & cross-border passenger rail, a HUGE mistake is being made – by promoting more Public Service Obligations (PSOs). Public Service Obligations (PSOs) for EU long distance cross-border rail have failed in the recent past – and they will fail again.
Therefore, we urge the Members of the EU Parliament’s Transport Committee (TRAN) to make urgent changes to their Draft Report on the EU Action Plan - for the sake of the growth in the international rail sector and meeting the goals of the EU Green Deal.
Sector statement on Digital Automatic Coupling (DAC)
On 21 September 2022 at the Innotrans trade fair in Berlin, the European railway sector (including ALLRAIL) handed over the Sector Statement on Digital Automatic Coupling (DAC) to the European Commission, represented by DG MOVE's Director General Henrik Hololei.
This Sector Statement on the DAC showcases the need and the advantages to roll-out this innovative device across the European railway system in an accelerated and concerted manner, presents the commitment of the European railway sector and calls the European Commission, the Members States and the European Union Agency for Railways (ERA) to action.
Spain’s new high-speed trains make it Europe’s rail capital
Yesterday was the launch of iryo, first privately owned high-speed rail operator in Spain
MADRID, Spain - Yesterday morning, at 10.25 am Central European Time (CET), the inaugural service of iryo departed from Madrid to Valencia. iryo is the first privately owned high-speed rail operator in Spain.
Spanish Iryo takes off with inaugural journey
The 21st of November was a major milestone for the Spanish high-speed rail competition, as the inaugural train of operator Iryo took off. Secretary General Nick Brooks was on the inaugural service of the operator, saying: “It is great to see how commercially driven Open Access services – such as Iryo – are making long-distance rail more attractive and winning travellers away from less sustainable transport modes, namely airlines and cars.”
Open access should replace inter-city franchising, says independent operators’ association
A fully-commercial open-access model should replace government contracts for the provision of long-distance services in Great Britain, according to the Alliance of Passenger Rail New Entrants.
Ukraine needs Marshall Plan for rail, says task force
The Global Ukraine Rail Task Force has called for a specific Marshall Plan for the rail sector in Ukraine, due to its “central and critical role both now and during the future reconstruction of the country.”
Belangenorganisatie ALLRAIL waarschuwt Kamer: ‘NS concessie in strijd met marktregels’
De Europese belangenorganisatie ALLRAIL waarschuwt in een brandbrief de kamercommissie voor Infrastructuur en Waterstaat voor een “extreme tunnelvisie” van het ministerie aangaande een nieuwe onderhandse concessie voor NS. Daarbij zegt ALLRAIL dat het ministerie de Europese marktordeningsregels niet naleeft, waardoor de “geloofwaardigheid van het Europese spoorbeleid wordt ondermijnt”.
Rail industry “has the capacity to save the day and make up for aviation’s failure”
Over the weeks and months we have seen many reports on the congestion problems faced at Europe’s airports. However, rail has the capacity to save the day and make up for aviation’s failure. ALLRAIL believes that passenger rail has room to grow in order to satisfy the higher demand. And it can grow even quicker – if EU and national stakeholders provide additional immediate support to railway operators for setting up new services.
Europe wants a high-speed rail network to replace airplanes
Together with the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER), the European Rail Supply Industry (UNIFE) and the Europe’s Rail Joint Undertaking (EU-RAIL), ALLRAIL has committed to the study on ‘Smart and Affordable High-Speed Services in the European Union’. The study will highlight the numerous benefits of an expanded high-speed rail network connecting national capitals and major cities.
Smart & Affordable High Speed Services in the EU study planned
Railway industry associations (ALLRAIL, CER, UNIFE) and the Europe's Rail Joint Undertaking research programme have signed a memorandum of understanding to undertake a study into ‘Smart & Affordable High-Speed Services in the European Union’. The study will demonstrate the benefits of a radical transformation of the rail network to provide high speed services linking all major continental cities.
While other competing long distance transport modes are setting themselves net zero emission targets, ALLRAIL believes that rail can do it bigger and better: high speed trains with large capacities connecting places around Europe on a frequent basis will lead to low fares and high revenue. The outcomes of this study must enable high speed rail to become the backbone of long-distance travel in Europe.
Rail operators want to run more international trains, but where to get them?
With the European market increasingly opening up to private operators and with the comeback of night trains well underway, the availability of rolling stock has become a large obstacle, especially for open-access train operators.
According to Nick Brooks, secretary general of ALLRAIL, the rail market is being opened up but possible competitors are hindered by the unavailability of affordable rolling stock. This slows the natural growth of the rail market to grow the changes to increase its competitiveness, which can lead to unnecessary public service obligations, “meaning taxpayers pay for one operator to run trains, while that money could have been spent on better track infrastructure, for example”.
If regulations in order to increase the availability of second hand rail material are not put in place, little advantages can be achieved with a liberalised market. “The ultimate goal is for an operator, regardless where it’s from in the EU, to be able to operate across a border on its own without having to tackle a lot of regulations as soon as a train crosses a border. Then it won’t be necessary to tie up with another operator that has the expertise in another country.”.
Incumbent train operators may have colluded against new entrant, European Commission says
The European Commission has sent Czech and Austrian national operators ČD and ÖBB a statement of objections setting out its preliminary view that they may have colluded to prevent new entrant RegioJet acquiring second-hand passenger rolling stock for use on competing services.
According to ALLRAIL, the alliance of new entrants to the passenger market, the lack of access to second-hand vehicles is one of the biggest barriers preventing newcomers from starting commercially-driven open access services. With no functioning market for long distance coaches owned by incumbents, dominant players should be required to sell or rent underutilised vehicles to newcomers without preferential treatment for other incumbents or unnecessary scrapping.
ÖBB and ČD breached EU rules by blocking RegioJet from access to rolling stock
In a preliminary statement made by the Commission, Czech Railways ČD and the Austrian ÖBB boycotted RegioJet to keep the operator from access to used rolling stock between 2012 and 2016.
According to ALLRAIL, unlike in other transport sectors, access to second-hand vehicles is one of the biggest barriers to entry for newcomers and independent operators. There is no functioning market for used long-distance coaches that are currently under the ownership of state incumbents, due to their inherited position as the sole national operator.
Nick Brooks, Secretary General at AllRail will talk about the need for a better market for used rolling stock at the RailTech Europe conference on 23 June. Find more information and tickets here.
Goedkope internationale trein raakt maar niet op de rails
Na zes jaar stopt moederbedrijf Thalys met zijn goedkope internationale treindienst- Thalys Izy. Die rijdt, in tegenstelling tot Thalys zelf, deels op het klassieke spoornet, waardoor reizigers bij een enkele rit tussen de Belgische en Franse hoofdstad zowat een uur langer onderweg zijn dan met de hogesnelheidstrein.
Volgens Nick Brooks, de secretaris-generaal van ALLRAIL, die private spooroperatoren vertegenwoordigt, was Izy gedoemd the mislukken: "Izy geen belang had om klanten van het moederbedrijf af te snoepen. Zijn aanwezigheid maakte het voor onafhankelijke concurrenten wel moeilijker om op te starten."
Russian attacks on rail system fail to paralyse ‘lifeline of Ukraine’
This article by the leading global news agency Reuters reports how a group of current and former European and US railway executives formed the International Support Ukraine Rail Task Force in March 2022, in order to raise money for protective gear, first aid kits and financial aid for the Ukrainian rail sector and refugee trains. Our association ALLRAIL is an integral part of this Task Force.
DB warned over market abuse in digital mobility platforms
The German Federal Monopolies Commission has reached a preliminary conclusion that Deutsche Bahn has committed ‘an abuse of market power’ in relation to digital mobility platforms designed to offer passengers integrated route planning and ticket purchasing. Announcing this on April 20, the Commission said that it had issued DB with a warning for possible obstruction of mobility platforms.
ALLRAIL, the alliance of new entrants in the European rail market, said that the Commission’s preliminary conclusion proved that ‘in addition to limiting modal shift to rail, such anti-competitive behaviour by dominant gatekeepers also undermines multi-modal solutions that have the potential toconsiderably reduce private car use.’
Rail task force meets Ukraine rail execs, pledges support
Former Federal Railroad Administrator Jolene Molitoris, ALLRAIL Secretary General Nick Brooks and other International Support Ukraine Rail Task Force members this week held their first virtual meeting with Ukraine rail sector officials to learn how the U.S. and EU rail industry can help Ukrainians keep their country’s trains running even as the Russian military targets the railroad’s infrastructure and kills its employees.
Leading rail sector officials in Europe and the USA have today announced the formation of the Multinational “Support Ukraine Rail Task Force” in order to coordinate technical, mechanical, and policy support for Ukrainian freight and passenger rail companies
“Ukrainian Railways express its sincere gratitude to the leaders of the railway industry for their comprehensive support and efforts aimed at stabilizing and developing Ukrainian railway transport. Our company has always been and will be a powerful player in the railway market and by joint efforts of Ukraine, the EU and the US we will bring the industry to a qualitatively new level despite all the difficulties", – said Oleksandr Kamyshin, Chairman of the Board of Ukrainian Railways.
Посадовці та фахівці залізничного сектору США та Європи оголосили про створення багатонаціональної «Цільової групи з підтримки залізниць України»
Посадовці та провідні фахівці залізничного сектору Сполучених Штатів Америки та Європи оголосили про створення багатонаціональної «Цільової групи з підтримки залізниць України», яка опікуватиметься технічною та політичною підтримкою українських вантажних та пасажирських залізничних компаній.
«Укрзалізниця висловлює щиру подяку світовим лідерам залізничної галузі за всебічну підтримку та зусилля, спрямовані на стабілізацію та розвиток українського залізничного транспорту. Наша компанія завжди була і буде потужним гравцем на ринку залізничних перевезень, і спільними зусиллями України, ЄС та США ми виведемо залізничну галузь на якісно новий рівень попри всі негаразди», – наголосив голова правління АТ «Укрзалізниця» Олександр Камишін.
Global task force to support Ukrainian rail industry
Jolene Molitoris, former United States Federal Railroad Administrator, together with Nick Brooks, Secretary General of ALLRAIL, and Ray Chambers, President of the American Association for Innovative Passenger Rail Operations (AIPRO) have announced the formation of the International Support Ukraine Rail Task Force aimed at generating support for Ukraine and its rail sector in response to Russia's unprovoked attack on the country.
U.S. rail stakeholders partner with ALLRAIL to form International Support Ukraine Rail Task Force
A group of five freight and passenger rail stakeholders are partnering with the Alliance of Passenger Rail New Entrants in Europe (ALLRAIL) to launch an international task force focused on providing “a forum for government organizations and passenger and freight rail associations to discuss Russia’s aggressive invasion of Ukraine and the most effective ways to support the Ukrainian rail sector.”
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
Podcast: ALLRAIL members on The Comeback of Night Trains in Europe
Podcast: Passenger rail after COVID-19: Update from the Member States, YouTube & Podcast discussion
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.