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International rail passenger services – status quo is not possible

March 29 was the official start of the European Year of Railways, focusing on railways as one of the most sustainable, innovative and safest modes of transport. Member States presented the Platform’s report on international rail passenger services. The latter supports the European agenda of international rail passenger transport. One of the intentions is to discuss the necessary actions with representatives of the sector and provide a report with recommendations to the Ministers of Transport by mid-2021.

Today, stakeholders in the European railway sector published a Sector Statement supporting the important work of the International Railway Passenger Platform.

This sector is committed to facilitating the ongoing work of the Platform and advising on the further development of the European program for the development of international rail passenger services. The status quo is not possible: Europe’s international transport systems must be adapted to the challenges of the ongoing and accelerated climate crisis. An interconnected and competitive rail passenger network will form the basis of the continent’s economic, social and environmental sustainability. With this statement, the railway sector wants to emphasize certain commitments and needs in order to develop the international railway network and services and make the Single European Railway a reality.

ECTAA and European travel technology are part of the platform’s work and have signed the Sector Statement. These two associations are closely involved in improving the consumer experience and digitization. “Ticket vendors and distributors can play an important role in helping customers plan, search for and book tickets for international rail services, including domestic services (urban, regional, long-distance), through various railway operators, and thus make the railway more attractive to citizens.” says Pavel Nevyadomsky, President of ECTAA.

“To make rail more attractive, ticket sellers need access to rail content on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms under a license agreement,” said Emmanuel Mounier, EU secretary general for tourism technology.

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