Second Sector Stakeholder Statement on International Passenger Rail Services
The Ministerial Platform on International Rail Passenger Transport (IRP) was set up to improve the framework conditions for the development of international passenger rail services in Europe, facilitating modal shift and the goals of the Green Deal. The Mirror Group that represents rail sector stakeholders in the Platform's work – consisting of representatives of railway undertakings (CER/ALLRAIL/UIC/CIT), infrastructure managers (EIM/CER/UIC), railway suppliers (UNIFE), passenger and consumers’ organisations (EPF/BEUC), travel companies (EU Travel Tech/ECTAA) and distributors (EU Travel Tech/ALLRAIL) – welcomed the IRP's latest annual progress report (accessible here) and published an accompanying sector statement. The Platform's Report highlights action points necessary to deliver improvements in international passenger rail and the transition to more sustainable mobility. Working with the Mirror Group, the Ministerial representatives have recognised the need to prioritise improvements in the overall journey experience of passengers. They have identified the need for investment and other actions to address infrastructure constraints; and the need for improvements to the quality of cross-border journeys, including the need to make tickets easier to find and book. The Platform has acknowledged the need for a market-focussed development of a coherent European network of high-speed cross-border services linking multi-modal passenger hubs. It has clarified the case for a better integrated regulatory framework to facilitate international service provision. Initially these may require a greater commitment to public procurement of key cross-border links. The associated commitments in the sector stakeholders’ statement accompanying the report should be seen as concrete examples of the sector's enthusiastic commitment to building on the work of the Ministerial Platform. Amongst other commitments: rail infrastructure managers reiterated their commitments to work for seamless cross-border journeys by enhancing interoperability, coherent timetabling and capacity management, as well as completing missing links and removing bottlenecks, railway undertakings represented in CER published their commitments in the CER Ticketing Roadmap, including measures to provide better support during disruptions and delays at no additional cost to the passenger, EPF is contributing to the establishment of key performance indicators relevant to independent monitoring of the roadmap, EU Travel Tech and ECTAA members have indicated their willingness to distribute the services generated by implementation of the Ticketing Roadmap, AllRail is to put forward other practical proposals to facilitate further improvements to the overall customer experience of cross-border journey-making. The full Sector Statement is available to download below.