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European railway policy

МнениеПубликувано на: Чет Юли 18, 2013 3:11 pm
от Administrator

Re: European railway policy

МнениеПубликувано на: Чет Окт 10, 2013 3:55 pm
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Eurostar confirms launch of London – Amsterdam services in December 2016

27 Sep 2013

EUROPE: Eurostar, the Dutch government and Dutch national passenger operator NS have signed an agreement for the launch of direct services between London and Amsterdam Centraal in December 2016.

This forms part of a programme to enhance services on HSL-Zuid which was announced by State Secretary for Infrastructure & the Environment Wilma Mansveld on September 27.

The agreement has been submitted to the Dutch parliament for ratification, a process which a Eurostar expects to be completed within the next few months.

Two services a day would be operated using Eurostar's new Siemens Velaro e320 trains, the first of which is now on test. The journey time will be around 4 h, with stops at Brussels, Antwerpen, Rotterdam and Schiphol airport.

A Eurostar spokesman told Railway Gazette International that details of the immigration and baggage screening procedures for UK-bound journeys were still to be worked out. The agreement sets a date for the launch of services, but it is 'very much the first step' and there is still 'a lot of work to do before 2016'.

Announcing the agreement, Eurostar said that since becoming a standalone corporate entity in September 2010 it has 'had clear ambitions to expand its business beyond its existing destinations and to encourage passengers to choose high speed rail over plane for short haul European travel', and a direct high-speed rail service between London and Amsterdam would offer 'an attractive, convenient alternative to the airlines'.

'We have long been ambitious for expansion to new destinations, so today's announcement marks a major advance in our growth plans', said Eurostar Chief Executive Nicolas Petrovic. 'With over three million passengers travelling by air between London and Amsterdam, this is one of Europe's most popular routes. Our fast, comfortable, point-to-point service will greatly enhance the links between the UK and the near Continent, revolutionising travel between these important financial and tourist hubs.'

source: RG

Re: European railway policy

МнениеПубликувано на: Чет Окт 10, 2013 3:57 pm
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Force majeure does not exempt train operators from compensating delayed passengers

27 Sep 2013

EUROPE: The Community of European Railway & Infrastructure Companies and the International Rail Transport Committee have called for the European Commission to harmonise consumer protection laws between transport modes, after the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that railway undertakings are not exempt from refunding passengers for delays attributable to force majeure.

Austria's administrative court had sought the Court of Justice's opinion regarding a case brought by Austrian Federal Railways' passenger business against a decision by the country's rail regulator Schienen-Control, which had required the removal of a clause in the terms and conditions which excluded passengers' right to compensation in cases of force majeure.

In it judgement on case C-509/11 issued on September 26, the Court of Justice found that European regulation 1371/2007 on rail passengers' rights says that the liability of railway undertakings is governed by the CIV uniform rules forming part of the COTIF convention, and also by the regulation itself. But while the CIV uniform rules provide an exemption from liability where a delay is the result of force majeure, the European regulation contains no exemption from its requirement to offer a refund of at least 25% of the ticket price in the event of delays of 60 to 119 min, and 50% for delays of 120 min or more.

The court said the EU legislature had intended to extend the obligation to pay compensation to cover cases which would be exempt under the uniform rules, and said the uniform rules and the regulation served different purposes. The uniform rules cover compensation for damage or loss, such the need to pay for accommodation, and require an individual assessment of damage suffered. Meanwhile, the regulation compensates for a service which was not supplied in accordance with the transport contract; passengers may bring a claim under both systems.

In response to the court's rejection of the analogies with force majeure exemptions in the aviation, maritime and coach sectors, CER and CIT said this 'clearly violates the principle of a level playing field' between modes.

'We will support our members with the implementation of the ruling and make sure that international passengers benefit from their rights as confirmed by the ECJ', said CIT Secretary General Cesare Brand. 'However we must be aware that this may have an impact on fares'.

source: RG

Re: European railway policy

МнениеПубликувано на: Пон Окт 21, 2013 3:35 pm
от Administrator
Infrastructure - TEN-T


New EU infrastructure policy


In the most radical overhaul of EU infrastructure policy since its inception in the 1980s, the Commission has today published new maps showing the nine major corridors which will act as a backbone for transportation in Europe's single market and revolutionise East–West connections. To match this level of ambition, EU financing for transport infrastructure will triple for the period 2014–2020 to €26 billion.

Taken as a whole, the new EU infrastructure policy will transform the existing patchwork of European roads, railways, airports and canals into a unified trans-European transport network (TEN-T).

European Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas, responsible for transport, said: "Transport is vital to the European economy. Without good connections Europe will not grow or prosper. This new EU infrastructure policy will put in place a powerful European transport network across 28 Member States to promote growth and competitiveness. It will connect East with West and replace today’s transport patchwork with a network that is genuinely European."

The new EU infrastructure policy

The new policy establishes, for the first time, a core transport network built on nine major corridors: 2 North–South corridors, 3 East–West corridors; and 4 diagonal corridors. The core network will transform East–West connections, remove bottlenecks, upgrade infrastructure and streamline cross-border transport operations for passengers and businesses throughout the EU. It will improve connections between different modes of transport and contribute to the EU's climate change objectives. The core network is to be completed by 2030. The availability of funding will depend on the successful conclusion of negotiations on the overall MFF 2014-2020.

Financing for transport infrastructure will triple for the period 2014–2020 to €26 billion. This EU funding will be tightly focused on the core transport network where there is most EU added value. To prioritise East–West connections, almost half the total EC transport infrastructure funding (€11.3 billion from the "Connecting Europe Facility", or CEF) will be ring-fenced only for cohesion countries.

The new core transport network will be supported by a comprehensive network of routes, feeding into the core network at regional and national level. The comprehensive network, will ensure full coverage of the EU and accessibility of all regions. The aim is to ensure that progressively, and by 2050, the great majority of Europe's citizens and businesses will be no more than 30 minutes' travel time from this comprehensive network.

Taken as a whole, the new transport network will deliver:

safer and less congested travel
smoother and quicker journeys.

The €26 billion (current prices) allocated to transport under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) of the MFF (multi-annual financial framework) will effectively act as "seed capital" to stimulate further investment by Member States to complete difficult cross-border connections and links which might not otherwise get built. It is estimated that the cost of implementing the first financing phase for the core network for 2014–2020 (see attached list of projects) will cost €250 billion. The core network is to be completed by 2030.

The new core network – the figures

The core network will connect:

94 main European ports with rail and road links
38 key airports with rail connections into major cities
15,000 km of railway line upgraded to high speed
35 cross-border projects to reduce bottlenecks

This will be the economic lifeblood of the single market, allowing a real free flow of goods and people around the EU.

Map of the core TEN-T (Trans-European Transport Network) and the nine major corridors pdf - 2 MB [2 MB]

For more information see MEMO/13/897 or IP/13/948

source: EC

Re: European railway policy

МнениеПубликувано на: Пет Окт 25, 2013 11:05 am
от Administrator
Europe's railways are getting even safer

24 Oct 2013


The number of people killed in railway-related accidents in the EU during 2012 was the lowest since data collection to common standards began in 2006, according to figures published by the European Railway Agency on October 21.

The member states' national safety authorities recorded 36 passenger and 46 employee fatalities in 2012. These accounted for 7% of all fatalities on EU 28 railways last year, when 1 133 people were killed and 1 016 were seriously injured. Fatalities to unauthorised persons decreased significantly to 653, representing 58% of all fatalities.

A total of 2 068 significant railway accidents were reported in 2012, down 7% on 2011. However, the number of collisions and derailments rose. There was a 20% increase in level crossing user casualties to 373 killed and 336 seriously injured in 573 accidents, a reversal of the five-year trend. This follows from a 20% decrease in 2011. Suicides have risen by an average of 4% a year since 2008, to 2 997 in 2012.

Traffic volumes showed a flat trend, with a 1% increase in passenger-km and 3% drop in freight train-kilometers. Passenger trains ran 3·25 billion kilometers in 2012, 79% of all train-km. The fatality risk for passengers on trains remained low, at 0·11 fatalities per billion passenger-km over the last three years. ERA said this is close to the risk experienced by air passengers and about half the risk experienced by coach passengers in Europe.

The figures are based on common EU definitions which all member states were obliged to apply from 2010. In practice most countries adopted them earlier, however the data is not yet fully comparable between countries. In particular, although suicides are reported separately and not counted under the safety statistics, the standards used to designate a fatality as a suicide vary to a limited extent.

source: RG

Re: European railway policy

МнениеПубликувано на: Нед Фев 15, 2015 6:52 pm
от Варужан Апелян
High-speed rail in Europe Problems down the line

High-speed networks are spreading fast, but face rising competition
Jan 10th 2015 | PARIS | From the print edition

FAST trains in Europe ended 2014 with a flourish. In December Eurostar, which connects London, Paris and Brussels, started selling tickets for a new, year-round service to the Mediterranean, starting this May. Poland introduced its first high-speed service, between Warsaw and Krakow; Serbia signed an agreement with China to build a fast line from Belgrade to Budapest; and Turkey inaugurated a line from Istanbul to Konya, having opened one between Istanbul and Ankara in July.

High-speed rail is controversial, as those now trying to introduce it to America know to their cost. This week, as work began on California’s “bullet train” project, taxpayer groups condemned it as a monstrous waste of money. Indeed, high-speed trains usually depend on public subsidy, yet their tickets are often unaffordable for many potential users, so they may not fill enough seats to avoid losses. The counter-argument is that over distances of 300-800km, fast trains between big population centres are quicker and less polluting than most forms of transport. No one is keener on them than the European Commission.
In this section

Supported by EU and national subsidies, Europe has added more than 6,000km of high-speed track—on which trains travel at least some of the time at 250kph (155mph) or more—to the 1,000km or so it had in 1990. Much more is under construction or planned (see chart). In 2015 a new line from Leipzig to Erfurt is due to open. A Milan-Brescia service may begin in 2016. By 2017 no fewer than four new French lines will come into service. The EU, which is itching to spend more on infrastructure, plans to finance a €4.5 billion ($5.3 billion) fast-rail link between Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.

On a few routes high-speed rail has clawed market share from airlines: Eurostar now claims more than 75% of the combined rail/air market on its main routes; and Paris-Lyon and Madrid-Barcelona are also successful. Often, however, fast trains just take business from slow ones. Between 2000 and 2011, as high-speed lines opened across the EU, rail’s overall share of passenger-kilometres travelled was little changed, at 6.4% in 2011. Cars’ share had barely budged, at 72.5%. Buses and coaches lost a percentage point, to 8.2%, with air travel (excluding flights to outside the EU) gaining more than a point, to 8.9%.

Some countries may have overextended their networks. In France, whose Trains à Grande Vitesse (TGVs) launched high-speed rail in Europe in 1981, traffic, revenues and profit margins have fallen from their peaks. To keep local politicians happy, TGVs stop at too many places, the national auditor concluded recently. Cheap flights and co-voiturage, or car-sharing, are siphoning off customers; SNCF has started a cut-price service in response. Spain’s high-speed track is even longer than France’s, despite it having about a fifth as much passenger demand. Fares were cut in 2013 to boost demand, but on many routes there are still plenty of empty seats.

Lack of competition among rail operators is another reason why high-speed rail is failing to win passengers from other means of transport. The EU is finding it hard to transform a bunch of national rail monopolies into a pan-European market in which operators compete across borders. Three rail-reform packages since 2001 have made a start: competition was introduced into freight services; some common technical standards have been laid down to make it easier to run trains across frontiers, and the beginnings of a single market in cross-border passenger services has been introduced. But a fourth reform package, to liberalise further the market for passenger rail, has been held up and watered down by the European Parliament and national politicians.

So far national rail firms are preferring to collaborate than to compete. In September France’s SNCF and Germany’s Deutsche Bahn renewed a joint venture, Alleo, which manages some high-speed services between the two countries. In December Lyria, owned by SNCF and its Swiss counterpart, opened a new service between Lille and Geneva.

However, on a few of the busiest routes, competition may eventually take off. Deutsche Bahn has postponed but not abandoned a plan to send trains from Frankfurt through the Channel Tunnel to London. That means taking on Eurostar, in which SNCF owns a majority stake. Deutsche Bahn is also gradually pulling out of Thalys, a venture with SNCF and its Belgian and Dutch counterparts, in preparation for competing with them on those routes.

In domestic markets, too, things are moving. Europe’s first private-sector high-speed operator is battling for market share in Italy. Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatori (NTV, in which SNCF has a stake) started services in 2012 and reckons it now has over 20% of the business. It has struggled to compete with the state-owned incumbent, FSI, which controls the tracks. NTV has complained to the authorities about what it sees as FSI’s dirty tricks; and it is hoping that a newly created independent regulator will insist on fair play.

The national rail operators would surely find it harder to rally political support to keep foreign rivals off their tracks if they were privatised. The Italian government is said to be considering at least a part-privatisation of FSI. But Germany is thought to have quietly shelved a similar notion. And in France, especially, privatisation seems out of the question.

However, competition from other forms of transport will only keep rising. Low-cost airlines are continuing to expand and in parts of Europe long-distance coaches are being liberalised. Germany opened up its coach market in 2013 and Deutsche Bahn reckons that as a result its high-speed routes lost €50m of revenues in the first half of 2014. A similar liberalisation is being proposed in France (where SNCF owns a big coach operator). While high-speed rail remains in the grip of sluggish state monopolies, its chances of becoming a successful, competitive business look poor.

From the print edition: Business


Re: European railway policy

МнениеПубликувано на: Пон Мар 16, 2015 2:29 pm
от Варужан Апелян
Rail Passenger Rights: protection of passengers still far from reality, shows Commission report

Brussels, 13 March 2015

In the past five years, only four Member States have fully applied the Regulation on rail passenger rights, while 22 have granted exemptions to varying degrees, shows a report published today by the European Commission. The report also stresses that the extensive exemptions have led to legal insecurity for both passengers and the rail industry. Looking at the future, the report findings show that only one more Member State will fully apply the rules. A level playing field for railway undertakings and a high level of protection for passengers in the EU is therefore still far from a reality.

Commissioner Violeta Bulc, responsible for Transport, said: "The protection of passengers when travelling in Europe is a cornerstone of European transport. If Member States don't change anything, travellers won't fully benefit from their rights. Therefore this modern piece of legislation, in favour of Europeans, risks becoming an empty shell."

Rules on rail passengers' rights apply, in principle, to all rail passenger services in the EU. However, the Regulation gives the possibility to Member States to grant exemptions to certain domestic services, either to ease the phasing in of the Regulation or to take into account the specificities of certain services, notably the urban, suburban and regional ones. The rail services that can be exempted are:

Domestic services for a maximum period of five years, renewable twice;
Urban, suburban and regional services
Services or journeys of which a significant part is operated outside the EU for a maximum period of five years. This exemption may be renewed.

The report provides a factual overview over the situation of rail passengers' rights in the EU in the past five years, since the entry into force of the Regulation on 3 December 2009. The projection on the future application of the rules, i.e. the renewal of the exemptions, is based on information provided by Member States and is subject to future changes.

For more information

Exemptions granted by Member States under Regulation (EC) 1371/2007 on rail passengers' rights and obligations

EU Passenger Rights

Passenger Rights campaign

Passenger rights smart phone app