Language requirements

The Mainichi Shimbun: 鉄道は温室効果ガス削減の切り札か 欧州に残る高い壁とは


The ‘isolationist attitude’ of national railways is also considered to be a major barrier to the development of passenger railways in Europe. National railways account for more than 90% of the European passenger rail market, and private railway companies are not making inroads. The share of ‘ALLRAIL’ member companies, which is made up of new private companies entering the European rail market, is currently only 6%. Nick Brooks, head of ALLRAIL, says: ‘The national railways of each country continue to do business in an environment where most of their customers are people from their own country and are only interested in domestic routes. They only protect their vested interests and have little incentive to expand into other countries‘ railways or open up their own routes’.


Revision of Train Drivers’ Directive Essential to Growing International Rail Traffic

International railway transportation experiences significant operational barriers compared to road and aviation through stringent language requirements which hinder the development of international travel. Significant changes to existing requirements are needed to facilitate the growth of international rail transportation. ALLRAIL and ERFA believe English should be introduced as a common language for international traffic in the revision of the Directive, whilst also maintaining existing national language requirements 

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ALLRAIL event: Breakfast debate on the language requirements in the upcoming Train Drivers’ Directive at the EU Parliament

Barbara Thaler (Member of the EU Parliament), with the collaboration of ALLRAIL and ERFA (lobby association of rail freight operators), hosted a breakfast debate on the language requirements in the upcoming Train Drivers’ Directive at the EU Parliament in Brussels.

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German Transport Minister Criticises That Train Drivers Have To Be Changed At Borders Because Of Different Languages, And That This Increases The Cost

After 70 years of the fragmented current system, just 4-5% of travellers crossing borders internally within the EU use passenger rail.

Transport Minister Dr Volker Wissing has recently identified major cost drivers that cause cross-border rail to be so much more expensive than flying. One of them is train drivers changing over at the internal EU borders, which would be avoided if a single language were adopted.

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