European cross-border night trains: four questions to the four governments
ALLRAIL believes that night trains can make a great comeback, as a sustainable alternative to late night & early morning flights. Several initiatives have shown how new entrant operators have contributed to this in a major way. Today, four European governments – Switzerland, France, Austria & Germany – announced that they want to promote a cross-border night train network. This is good, but it is important that new entrant operators can be fully involved.
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.
SWEDEN / DENMARK: direct awards for night trains are just a painkiller, not the remedy
The only night train operator between Sweden and Germany over the past eight years has been Snälltåget, a privately owned venture, doing it on a commercial basis without subsidy. Next year it will serve Denmark as well.
Now, state rail incumbents are lobbying for directly awarded taxpayer subsidy for night trains between the same countries - only for themselves.
Podcast: ALLRAIL members on The Comeback of Night Trains in Europe
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.