• Home
  • 2021: THE EUROPEAN YEAR OF RAIL

Team

  • 2021: THE EUROPEAN YEAR OF RAIL

    Rail connects Europe

The European Union has declared 2021 as the European Year of Rail in recognition of its significant contribution to achieving climate neutrality. The rail sector plays a crucial role in the accomplishment of the goals set out in the EU Green Deal which are to reduce transport emissions by 90% by 2050.

Railways are a sustainable and safe means of transport, offering passengers considerable comfort. Trains are a highly efficient alternative means of transport, as people and freight can be transported in competitive times and at competitive prices compared to other forms of transport.

On top of this firm commitment towards protecting the environment, rail transport also plays an important role in social and economic cohesion between different territories, thereby promoting the competitiveness of each territory.

WHY RAIL?

SUSTAINABLE MOBILITY

Most rail networks are electrified. Rail transport is the means of transport with the lowest CO2 emissions per passenger and per kilometre compared to other means such as air, sea or road.

Another environmental advantage trains provide is low energy consumption. Trains are equipped with various types of technology such as high-efficiency traction equipment, energy storage systems, lighter and more resistant materials, with special emphasis placed on recyclability; or regenerative braking systems to recover energy during braking, to name just a few.

INCREASED COMFORT AND SAFETY

Aside from low accident rates, train journeys are also more comfortable for passengers compared to other means of transport. On the one hand, rail infrastructures provide access to city centres, in contrast with airports which are generally found in the periphery of conurbations. Boarding times and cabin baggage restrictions are much more flexible than when travelling by air.

Regarding accessibility, trains are designed to provide maximum guarantees for persons with reduced mobility. These guarantees include wheelchair areas, accessible WCs or access ramps.

In terms of the current Covid-19 pandemic situation, the rail sector has stepped up various measures, such as refurbishment and cleaning actions and capacity monitoring so as to guarantee passenger safety.

HIGH CAPACITY AND FLEXIBILITY

HIGH CAPACITY AND FLEXIBILITY

Trains also boast high passenger and freight capacity compared to other means of transport. Urban transport systems such as the underground and trams are a prime example of this capacity as they can transport a large number of people whilst having little impact on the environment.

Innovation commitment has resulted in the implementation of new technological developments such as automatic train driving which has contributed towards increasing this capacity by means of more frequent train services.

Another advantage this means of transport offers is flexibility. The modular nature of these vehicles means that operators can adapt their train fleet configuration to suit demand. Being intermodal with other means of transport also offers passengers a great deal of flexibility.

BORDERLESS TRANSPORT

BORDERLESS TRANSPORT

The rail sector also facilitates social and economic cohesion between different territories. Interoperability technology facilitates rail connections between different countries, thereby promoting passenger and freight traffic between different economies.

Accordingly, commitment to the ERTMS (European Rail Traffic Management System) constitutes a real opportunity by integrating the various existing signalling systems into a single standard system, thereby increasing both the capacity and safety of the European rail network.

NEW DIGITAL SERVICES

NEW DIGITAL SERVICES

Digitalisation introduces a new generation of connected trains and more competitive services for operators and maintainers in the rail sector through data acquisition and advanced analytics.

These services mean that fleet conditions can be monitored in real time whilst maintenance plans can also be optimised based on the real condition of train components. This maximises fleet availability, energy efficiency and passenger safety.

Learn more about the European Year of Rail: 2021: THE EUROPEAN YEAR OF RAIL