Open Access
Washington D.C.,

In the Land of Enterprise, it’s Time for More Competition in Intercity Rail

The US House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure is concerned about the lack of improvements at Amtrak following the record levels of funding that it has received. Some comparisons were made to rail in Europe. However, high-speed rail in Europe only became affordable for most citizens and more efficient after intramodal competition was introduced.


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Brussels & London,

Open Access is Now – Private Investment is Proven to Grow the Rail Sector IF Certain Barriers to Entry Are Broken Down

Now, just 2 and a half years after its launch, Lumo is already profitable and significantly boosting the profits of its parent company, First Group.

What is the difference to the EU?

▶ In the UK, there is impartial retail – All Rail Tickets Sold At All Rail Ticket Vendors – e.g. it is regulated that LNER sells Lumo (and vice-versa). The priority is Full Transparency for passengers.
▶ There is a vibrant rolling stock market. Despite being entirely Open Access, Lumo has a brand-new fleet, funded by a leasing company.
▶ Track Access Charges are much lower, especially for new Open Access services - unlike the 17.7% increase that is foreseen in Germany next year.

Conclusion: Open Access works – but sadly, we are still a long way from achieving Lumo-style newcomers in the EU.

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Midnight Trains : une autre start-up ferroviaire met fin à ses activités

Après Railcoop, une autre start-up ferroviaire - Midnight Trains – a mis fin à ses activités en raison des importantes barrières à l'entrée sur le marché. Cela nous rappelle une fois de plus que le marché européen du transport ferroviaire de voyageurs reste beaucoup plus ouvert dans la législation qu'il ne l'est dans la réalité.

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New EU Cross-Border Rail Services Between Copenhagen and Stockholm

Last week, the independent operator Snälltåget started a new long-distance daytime service between Copenhagen and Stockholm. There could be many more services like this – growing cross-border rail – if only the conditions to encourage more commercial-driven services were in place.

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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’.