Press releases & media

Press releases

Brussels,

Members of AERRL and ALLRAIL with new PLEDGE to finance and operate newly built or second-hand rolling stock

A meeting between lessors in AERRL and independent railway operators in ALLRAIL leads to a new PLEDGE to actively contribute to help launch new commercial rail offers for passengers through maximum availability of passenger rolling stock.  At the end of the discussion, it appears that the market forces must remember the essential conditions necessary for the good development of the offer and thus of the market share of rail.

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Bryssel,

SJ använder svenska skattepengar till orättvis konkurrens mot Snälltåget

Trafikverket bör ta ansvar för den av SJ nyligen aviserade offensiven mot det privatägda järnvägsföretaget Snälltåget. Det svenska statliga järnvägsföretaget SJ, har nämligen meddelat att man kommer att kopiera Snälltågets nattåg mellan Stockholm – Berlin, genom att förlänga sin, av svenska skattebetalare subventionerade nattågstrafik Stockholm – Hamburg till Berlin. Detta utgör en olaglig korssubventionering.

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Brussels,

Trafikverket to blame for state-owned SJ using Swedish PSO subsidy for unfair competition in EU night train market

The Swedish Transport Authority Trafikverket should take responsibility for the recently announced offensive against the privately owned operator Snälltåget by the Swedish state-owned rail incumbent SJ. Namely, SJ has announced that it will compete with Snälltåget´s commercially driven night train between Stockholm and Berlin by extending its taxpayer-funded Stockholm – Hamburg night train service to Berlin. This represents an illegal cross-subsidy.

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Bruxelles,

Le 60ème anniversaire du Traité de l’Élysée devrait être l’occasion de célébrer l’espace ferroviaire unique européen, et non un nouveau monopole ferroviaire transfrontalier

Dimanche dernier (22 janvier) fut célébré le 60ème anniversaire du traité d'amitié entre la France et l'Allemagne. Les deux pays font partie intégrante de l'Union européenne et du marché unique européen. Il est donc surprenant que leurs deux opérateurs ferroviaires publics marquent cet évènement en créant conjointement un nouveau monopole de trains à grande vitesse.

Lire le communiqué de presse
Brussels,

The 60th Anniversary of the Élysée Treaty should celebrate the Single European Rail Area – and not a new cross-border rail monopoly

Four days ago, on Sunday 22 January, we celebrated the 60th Anniversary of the treaty of friendship between France and Germany. Both countries are an integral part of the EU and the European single market. Therefore, it is rather odd that their two state-owned rail incumbents are marking this anniversary with a new joint high speed rail monopoly.

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Brussels,

Der 60. Jahrestag des Élysée-Vertrags sollte den einheitlichen EU-Bahnbinnenmarkt feiern – und nicht ein neues grenzüberschreitendes Bahnmonopol

Vor vier Tagen, am Sonntag, den 22. Januar, haben wir den 60. Jahrestag des Freundschaftsvertrags zwischen Deutschland und Frankreich gefeiert. Beide Länder sind ein fester Bestandteil der EU und des europäischen Binnenmarktes. Daher ist es etwas seltsam, dass die beiden Staatsbahnen diesen Jahrestag mit einem neuen gemeinsamen Bahnmonopol begehen. 

Lesen Sie die Pressemitteilung:
Brussels,

A study on smart and affordable high-speed services in the European Union shows the way to future sustainable mobility

The study contracted by Europe’s Rail Joint Undertaking (EU-RAIL) in collaboration with the Alliance of Passenger Rail New Entrants in Europe (ALLRAIL), the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER) and the European Rail Supply Industry (UNIFE) analyses the impact of the European High-Speed Rail (HSR) Network connecting the Capitals of Europe and the main European cities and regions. The study confirms that investing in a comprehensive European HSR network delivers added value to European society and massively reduces the environmental footprint of European passenger transport, creating a sustainable and equitable mobility.

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Brussels,

Poland: the hidden truth behind increased ticket prices at Polish incumbent PKP Intercity

Today, Polish incumbent PKP Intercity increased the price of tickets for all of its train services. Passengers travelling with PKP Express InterCity or with the highspeed Pendolino service (EIP) will have to pay 17.4% and 17.8% more respectively for their journey.

The reasons given by PKP Intercity for such an increase are, allegedly, inflation and rising operating costs due to higher electricity prices. However, the state-owned operator chose not to identify the real cause: market closure and complete lack of competition.

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Bruksela,

Polska: ukryta prawda za wzrostem cen biletów PKP Intercity

Od dziś, państwowy operator kolejowy PKP Intercity podnosi ceny biletów na wszystkie świadczone usługi kolejowe. Za podróż pociągami PKP Express InterCity lub Pendolino (EIP), pasażerowie będą musieli zapłacić odpowiednio o 17,4% i 17,8% więcej.

Państwowy przewoźnik swoją decyzję tłumaczy inflacją oraz wzrostem kosztów działalności, które wynikają z wyższych cen energii elektrycznej. Jednakże PKP Intercity postanowiło nie dostrzec prawdziwej przyczyny wzrostu cen biletów: zamknięcia rynku kolejowego oraz zakazu konkurencji na polskich torach.

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Brussels,

[Global Ukraine Rail Task Force] Thank you! Help is on its way to Ukrainian railway workers and their families

A short time after the beginning of Russia’s brutal aggression against Ukraine, the Global Ukraine Rail Task Force set up a targeted donation campaign to help the Iron Family (the workers of the Ukrainian rail sectors) and their families.

In the course of several months, more than 100.000€ were collected thanks to the generosity of the donors. The proceeds will be used to purchase 5000 food packages that will be shipped and delivered to railway workers and their families at the frontline and newly liberated territories of Ukraine. Because of recurrent supply issues due to the war, Ukrainians at the frontline go sometimes hungry. Therefore, food packages are truly vital to their wellbeing.

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Brussels,

Portugal: yet another case hindering railway liberalisation in Europe: unjustified Public Service Obligations (PSOs), possible State Aid to the incumbent

Recently, Portugal’s Prime Minister Antonio Costa announced plans for a high-speed line between Lisbon and Porto, stressing the importance of connecting the two cities and generating economic growth.

ALLRAIL welcomes this project but highlights, once again, the importance of opening this sector to the competition among operators, fulfilling with the provisions of the EU Law.  

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Bruxelas,

Portugal: mais um caso que dificulta a liberalização dos caminhos-de-ferro na Europa: Injustificadas obrigações de serviço público (OSP) e possíveis auxílios estatais ao operador histórico

Recentemente, o Primeiro Ministro português António Costa anunciou planos para uma linha de alta velocidade entre Lisboa e Porto, sublinhando a importância de ligar as duas cidades e gerar crescimento económico.

ALLRAIL congratula-se com este projeto, mas salienta, mais uma vez, a importância da abertura deste sector à concorrência entre operadores, cumprindo com as disposições da legislação da UE.  

Ler o comunicado de imprensa
Vienna,

Austria: privately owned rail operator WESTbahn launches another commercially driven long-distance service

Privately owned railway operator, ALLRAIL member WESTbahn launched another commercially driven long-distance service in Austria, this time between Vienna and Innsbruck.

Thanks to this new service, passengers wishing to visit the capital of the beautiful region of Austrian Tyrol will also enjoy the benefits of competition between different railway operators on the same route.

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Brussels,

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.

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Brussels,

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.

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Madrid,

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.

Read the press release
Brussels,

[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.

Read the press release
Brussels,

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%.

Read the press release
Brussels,

[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.

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Brussels,

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.

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Berlin,

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.

Read the sector statement
Brussels,

Klart att SJ börjar köra nattåg till Berlin – konkurrenten kritisk

SJ har nu släppt de första biljetterna till nattåget som den 31 mars börjar gå till Berlin från Stockholm.

Samtidigt anser Snälltåget, som kör samma sträcka, att villkoren är orättvisa.

– SJ får statliga pengar för samma sträcka som vi kör, säger marknadschefen Marco Andersson.

Läs artikeln
Brussels,

ALLRAIL: Sweden’s night train subsidy for Stockholm – Berlin is unfair competition

ALLRAIL says plans by Swedish state-owned operator SJ to extend its night train Stockholm-Hamburg to Berlin will cause unfair competition, as operator Snälltåget runs night trains on that same route on a commercial basis. This while SJ is receiving PSO funding from the state, “Illegal cross-subsidy”, says ALLRAIL. 

 

 

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Brussels,

Pociągi są za drogie, bo PKP boi się konkurencji

Wnioski zagranicznych przewoźników o dostęp do polskich torów są albo odrzucane przez UTK, albo rozpatrywane tak długo, aż potencjalni rywale PKP InterCity sami je wycofają.

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Brussels,

Study proposes massive expansion of Europe’s high speed rail network

A master plan for massive expansion of the high speed rail network has been proposed by the Europe’s Rail Joint Undertaking in co-operation with the Community of European Railways, supply industry association UNIFE and the AllRail association of new entrants to the passenger market.

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Bruksela,

ALLRAIL odpowiada UTK. „Urząd kreuje pozory otwarcia rynku kolejowego”

Europejskie stowarzyszenie reprezentujące niezależnych przewoźników pasażerskich odniosło się do odpowiedzi prezesa UTK na zarzuty dotyczące blokowania otwarcia rynku kolejowego w Polsce. – Stanowisko Prezesa UTK jest doskonałym odzwierciedleniem fasadowości działań urzędu – pisze ALLRAIL i przedstawia zebrane przez siebie statystyki.

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Brussels,

ALLRAIL: Podwyżki cen biletów IC to wina braku konkurencji

Polski rynek jest zamknięty na cztery spusty, nie istnieje żadna przeciwwaga dla tego, do czego może doprowadzić protekcjonizm państwowy. Zalicza się do tego również wzrost cen biletów – pisze w dzisiejszym komentarzu do podwyżki cen biletów PKP Intercity międzynarodowe stowarzyszenie prywatnych operatorów kolejowych ALLRAIL.

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Brussels,

‘Train Over Plane’: ALLRAIL’s Campaign to Decarbonise the Transport Sector. Here’s All You Need to Know

ALLRAIL and the online travel comparison and booking portal Omio are partners in a new campaign to replace short-haul flights with rail to decarbonise the transport sector. SilverRail Technologies spearheaded the campaign, and ten other organisations are partnering with it as well.

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Madrid,

Spain’s new high-speed trains make it Europe’s rail capital

Friday 25 November saw the launch of iryo -- the latest company to enter Spain's fast train market. With iryo's arrival, that makes three official competitors, but four competing brands -- making Spain the first country in Europe to have so many high-speed options.
 
Nick Brooks, secretary general of ALLRAIL, said ahead of the launch: "It is great to see how commercially driven Open Access services - such as iryo -- are making long-distance rail more attractive and winning travelers away from less sustainable transport modes, namely airlines and cars."
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Brussels,

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.

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Brussels,

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.”

Read the article
Brussels,

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.

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Brussels,

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.”

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SpoorPro,

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”.

 
 
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Brussels,

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.

 

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Brussels,

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.

"We want to see high-speed trains with 1,000 seats each connecting places around Europe on a frequent basis," says Nick Brooks, secretary general of ALLRAIL. "This will lead to low fares and high revenue. While other competing long-distance transport modes are setting themselves 'net zero' emission targets, rail can do it bigger and better. The outcomes of this study must enable high-speed rail to become the backbone of long-distance travel in Europe."
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Brussels,

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. 

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Brussels,

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.”.

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Brussels,

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.

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Brussels,

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.

Read the article here
Brussels,

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."

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Brussels,

Online Press Event: Smart and Affordable High-Speed Services in the European Union

Europe's Rail Joint Undertaking - in collaboration with ALLRAIL, CER and UNIFE - is kicking-off 2023 with a dedicated online joint press event exploring the main findings coming from the ‘Smart and Affordable High-Speed Services in the European Union’ study. The event will take place on 23 January at 11:00 CET, online.

Read more and/or register
Rotterdam,

ALLRAIL Secretary General speaks at RailTech Live event on EU rail ticketing system

On 14th December, ALLRAIL Secretary General Nick Brooks participated in RailTech's event "A seamless European rail ticketing system" in Rotterdam. 

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Brussels,

ALLRAIL’s State of Market Opening reception was a success

On the 1st December 2022, ALLRAIL held the first event in its new office: the State of Market Opening reception.

Read more
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
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

Download
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)

Download
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