A lot of work remains to be done to create a uniform rail network in Europe but the European Commission is taking the lead with its Connecting Europe Express, which promotes train travel as a sustainable mode of transport. The EU train is currently crisscrossing the European continent and has made several stops, including Austria, the EU member with the highest percentage of train travellers.
Bernhard Rieder works for the Austrian railways ÖBB. In his opinion the Connecting Europe Express is a sign in the European Year of Rail that train travel really does have a future.
However, the national railway systems in Europe implement different technical norms, constituting an impediment to cross-border rail travel. Rieder feels that should change: “There are different regulations, prescriptions and technical challenges at every border. That must end.”
Approximately 25% of all greenhouse gases in the EU are traffic-related, a percentage that keeps climbing. Within the scope of climate neutrality by 2050, Brussels aims to triple high speed train traffic.
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