Taking the cross-border rail customer experience to the next level
European Rail CEOs have expressed their vision for seamless, punctual, reliable, and sustainable rail transport, for both passengers and transported goods, and their commitment to the rail customer experience at the European Railways CEO Summit in Berne, hosted by Swiss Federal Railways (SBB CFF FFS) on 1 July. The Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER) is signatory of the resulting Berne Declaration which outlines the measures intended to pave the way to increase the modal share of rail and thus contribute directly to achieving the Green Deal objectives.
The Declaration calls on policy makers at both European and national level to support these objectives with the necessary policy framework which should include, amongst others, the following:
- ensure sufficient, predictable, and sustainable long-term financing for the European railway sector including adequate funding for rail infrastructure maintenance and development, in line with the ambitions of the revised TEN-T Regulation.ensure a fair level playing field for all transport modes, particularly with regard to external costs and Europe’s dependence on energy.
- ensure a fair level playing field for all transport modes, particularly with regard to external costs and Europe’s dependence on energy.
- trust the sector to establish suitable framework conditions for digital layer (MDMS) and support the sector to implement the CER Ticketing Roadmap.
- work together with railway companies in developing cross-border services by using existing instruments like PSO contracts.
By working together and with the support of policymakers, the rail sector can take the cross-border rail customer experience to the next level, making rail transport the preferred choice for passengers and shippers across Europe.
CER Chair Andreas Matthä (CEO of Austrian Federal Railways ÖBB) said: “We all need to be aware of the fact that without a strong railway sector, Europe can’t reach its climate targets. We are doing our part, but we can only be successful in increasing the modal share of rail within a suitable political framework. With the Berne Declaration, the European railway community is sending a strong signal towards political decision makers. At the same time, we continue our own efforts to make cross-border rail travel more seamless and reliable.”
CER Executive Director Alberto Mazzola said: “Railways connect Europe. They are safe, comfortable, reliable and above all, environmentally and socially friendly. We call on all policy makers to support the increase of modal shift of rail with the appropriate and necessary measures”.
The full Berne Declaration can be found on the CER website here.
Photo Credit: © SBB CFF FFS