News 19 Jun 2024

International rail passenger market on the right track according to new progress report

A new progress report was presented yesterday to EU Transport Ministers by the Platform on International Rail Passenger Transport. The report shows a positive market development and signals that more services are in the making. The Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER) is actively engaged in the platform and values this fruitful collaboration with  Member States and other sector stakeholders that is driving meaningful change and promoting a sustainable and efficient railway system throughout Europe.

The Ministerial Platform on International Rail Passenger Transport (IRP) was set up in 2020 to improve the framework conditions for the development of international passenger rail services in Europe, facilitating modal shift and the goals of the EU Green Deal. The Platform is also supported by sector parties and consumer organisations.

In this fourth progress report, the IRP reiterates that modal shift towards international railway passenger transportation is crucial and identifies the critical enablers to achieve it, namely completion of the TEN-T infrastructure network, technical interoperability, harmonised governance and capacity allocation, and availability of rolling stock, among others. CER agrees with this assessment and welcomes the recognition in the report that voluntary progress by the sector is key to achieve results for passengers.

CER is demonstrating this with the implementation of the CER Ticketing Roadmap (“Roadmap”), which continues to be a key vehicle for CER members to improve the cross-European passenger experience by 2025 and 2030 respectively. Roadmap delivery is largely on track, both regarding multilateral solution development and implementation by the railways individually. Since last year’s report rail operators GYSEV, HŽPP and PKP Intercity have joined the pivotal CIT Agreement on Journey Continuation (AJC), with Eurostar and LTG Link joining by the end of 2024. This expansion ensures that the AJC will now encompass over 90% of CER members’ passenger traffic in the EU.

Another cornerstone of the Roadmap is the rollout of the Open Sales and Distribution Model (OSDM), the sector-led technical solution facilitating rail ticket distribution. OSDM deployment preparations have now reached the final stages and six new railway undertakings will be switching to OSDM by the end of 2024, with an additional seven by the middle of 2025. A major development this year was the deployment of OSDM in Sweden, showing the capabilities of OSDM to provide fair and non-discriminatory access to rail tickets.

CER Executive Director Alberto Mazzola said: “The report of the IRP confirms that European rail passenger services are developing and improving. Rail operators are eager to deliver, however progress very much depends, not only on the operators, but on  infrastructure investments necessary to complete the TEN-T Core Network and cross-border sections. We seek continuous support from both national governments gathered in the IRP and European institutions to address the remaining obstacles and ensure the successful realisation of our commitments. By fostering collaboration and driving innovation, the sector remains steadfast in its dedication to advancing passenger rail transport across Europe.”

The IRP’s 4th Progress Report is accessible here.

Please follow the links for more info on the CER Ticketing Roadmap, OSDM and the AJC.