The European Year of Railways has begun, but what does it really mean? To achieve climate neutrality by 2050, the EU must drastically reduce CO2 emissions from transport. Investing in railways and promoting trains as a sustainable, safe and modern mode of transport is one of the goals for this year.
Europe is better and better connected by trains, which is confirmed by the agreement of four national carriers – the German Deutsche Bahn (DB), the Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB), the French SNCF and the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB), which announced the introduction in December 2020. four new Nightjet lines that will connect 13 European capitals at night over the next few years.
Railways are responsible for less than 1% of EU greenhouse gas emissions
Their popularity has been declining for years, but night trains are returning and have an important role to play in achieving climate neutrality by 2050. To achieve the goals of the European Green Plan, the EU must reduce 90% of CO2 emissions from transport.
The European Parliament has therefore declared 2021 the European Year of Railways, during which sustainable train travel will be promoted with special events, debates and thematic activities.
The transport sector is unfortunately the only sector in which carbon dioxide emissions have not been reduced since 1990, and on the other hand, railways are responsible for less than 1% of EU greenhouse gas emissions.
Parliament wants passengers to be better informed about their rights, and the elderly and the disabled should not be left out. Improving train access and connectivity within the European rail network is a priority for MPs.
The promotion and modernization of European railway networks will not only help the green transition, but will also support the knowledge and experience of European engineers.
E2 portal (European Parliament)
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