ALLRAIL’s Katharina Dekeyser participates in panel discussion on the benefits of passenger rail market opening for Belgium

ALLRAIL’s Katharina Dekeyser participated in a panel discussion organised by RailTech Belgium, in which she highlighted the positive consequences that would benefit passengers in Belgium if the Belgian government chose to open its market.

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‘Belgium’s approach to encouraging night trains should be emulated across Europe’

The Belgian measure in which night train operators will pay nothing for track access fees and energy over the next two years should be adopted across Europe, says ALLRAIL, which represents new entrants in passenger rail. The organisation celebrates the launch of European Sleeper last week, the “first ever – independently owned – scheduled long-distance rail operator to depart from Belgium”.

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The First Ever Independent Scheduled Long-Distance Passenger Rail Service Departs from Belgium

A few days ago, history was made in Belgian passenger rail: European Sleeper was the first independently owned scheduled long-distance rail operator to depart from Belgium. Its new night train is commercially driven - not a Public Service Obligation (PSO) - and links Belgium, the Netherlands with Berlin in Germany.

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ALLRAIL’s Salim Benkirane speaks at the European Transport and Railway Affairs seminar in Bruges (Belgium)

Salim Benkirane spoke at the 59th edition of the European Transport and Railway Affairs (ETCR) seminar that took place at the College of Europe in Bruges (Belgium).

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Sweden, Denmark and Belgium want to return to the bad old days of failed International PSO night trains

It has been revealed that the Transport Ministers of Sweden, Denmark and Belgium have written to EU Transport Commissioner Vălean, asking her to force Germany to instate taxpayer subsidised Public Service Obligations (PSOs) for international night train services on its territory.

Probably, they would then directly award this PSO to a collaboration of their state-owned incumbents.

But this international incumbent PSO model for night trains failed in the past – and it will fail again.

Instead, Europe needs to encourage commercially driven night train services that will grow the market while reducing the dependency on the taxpayer.

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