New articles by Investigate Europe reveal growth of cross-border rail is hampered by protectionism
In a major new set of articles, independent reports from Investigate Europe have revealed that the growth of European cross-border passenger rail is still severely hampered by many national governments protecting their state-owned railway companies.
In the 6-7 countries where it has been allowed to happen so far, market liberalisation has really boosted modal shift to rail.
Yet in most of Europe we still see governments deliberately delaying rail liberalisation until the 2030s and sabotaging the goals of the EU Green Deal.
Joint press release: Rail infrastructure focused on the public interest is necessary for modal shift to rail in Germany
The vertical integration of rail infrastructure managers and market dominant rail operators does not work, as we have seen in many examples in recent years, such as in France, which has some of the highest track access fees in Europe.
Instead, it is unbundling that drives innovation, quality, efficiency and jobs. With coalition negotiations taking place in Germany right now, it is crucial to have a rail infrastructure there that is focused on the public interest - and not the interests of operators within the same holding company. A new 2nd Rail Reform in Germany is urgently necessary.
New CNN article shows how competition in passenger rail has severely reduced air travel
In a major new article, the global news channel CNN shows how competition in long distance passenger rail in Italy has led to a huge growth in passengers and reduced the domestic flight market.
Landmark judgement in CORSICA: €86m fine because Public Service Obligation not justified – relevant to passenger rail
The Corsica Island authority has been fined €86 million due to an unjustified Public Service Obligation (‘PSO’) subsidy for the state ferry operator SNCM compared to a privately owned competitor1.
This case is 100% relevant to EU passenger rail. Some EU countries are being lobbied hard by their state rail incumbents to directly award PSO contracts. There is high risk that – like in Corsica – such PSOs will be an unjustified & wasteful use of subsidy - with no benefit for passengers or the environment.
United States of America: President Biden is pushing for more competition – but this must include long distance passenger rail
Last week, it was reported that a newly formed White House Council will promote competition across the US economy1, in order to “drive down prices for consumers”, encouraging companies to “up their game” and become more innovative.
This is exactly what happened in EU long distance passenger rail over the past decade - in those countries where competition has been allowed so far.