HomeInternational organizationsEUThe EU has unveiled plans to create a single European railway area

The EU has unveiled plans to create a single European railway area

European politicians are determined to tackle climate crises by working towards carbon neutrality by 2050, which they intend to do by laying the rails connecting Europe.

Carlo Borgini, head of Shift2Rail, the EU’s body responsible for research and innovation in the railway sector, proposes the use of railways because they have an impressive environmental qualification, accounting for about 0.5% of the EU’s carbon emissions.

“If we want to achieve decarbonisation and address climate change, the railways are a tool for that,” Borgini said.

Although the continent has extensive experience working with rail networks, only seven to 11 percent of passengers and goods are transported by train. Moreover, cross-border train travel can be expensive, unreliable, inconvenient and difficult, as there is no direct rail link between cities such as Berlin, Paris, Brussels or Copenhagen.

Shift2Rail intends to create the Single European Railway Area (SERA), which should make it easier for railway operators to travel across Europe in order to keep carbon emissions low.

“We need to ensure that there is a single European network in Europe, which means that our ultimate goal is to transport goods from one side of the continent to the other,” Borgini said.

He also noted that the idea is to force EU member states to join SERA without adjusting locomotives, wagons, power or their respective alarm systems.

Shift2rail has allocated € 1 billion to stimulate innovation to achieve three specific goals: reducing the life cycle cost of the rail system, doubling capacity and reducing network delays.

“The European Union is now trying hard to abandon short-haul flights in Europe, and they would like to put it on the rails, but there is no place for it on the rails,” said Milan Chromic, the company’s director of business development, Nevomo said.

He also noted that no changes are needed to meet these needs in the railway sector.

Juan Hanging Balager, co-founder and marketing director of Zeleros Hyperloop, explained that there are two ways to achieve the goal; Magrail and Hyperloop ventures.

The Hyperloop concept was first created by George Medhurst in the 19th century and re-discussed by Ilona Musk in 2013.

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