Transport policy

By Frédéric de Kemmeter, Railway policy observer – Freelance railway contributing writer – Suscribe my blog
🟧 Back to homepage 🟧 See our brief news

UIC celebrates 100 years of existence
19/10/2022 – The International Union of Railways – UIC – is celebrating its 100th anniversary this October. This is an opportunity to look back at the many achievements of the railway administrations, which later became public companies.


I experienced Brussels-Stockholm round trip by train
08/08/2022 – Don’t ask me « how long time? » This round trip of 3,645 kilometres was obviously done in 4 stages… and 10 trains. The whole thing was spread over 9 days to enjoy the cities we don’t visit every year. These long journeys allow us to learn a lot of things. We’ll talk about railway reality rather than dreams and utopias, as rail is apparently the transport planned to replace the plane. Is this true?


Network Rail: 20 years under UK state control
11/06/2022 -For the past twenty years, the British rail network has been managed by a direct government agency called Network Rail. In the future, a new body is expected to take over, but the network remains an entity managed by the government.


Europe : AERRL and ALLRAIL want a European database for the deployment of ERTMS
11/01/2022 – Railway rolling stock owners, represented by AERRL, are very interested in the modernisation of existing as well as new rolling stock. But they are facing important costs. In order to support private investments in railway rolling stock, AERRL and the association of private operators ALLRAIL call for the…


Europe : how the state railways are expanding through Europe
29/12/2021 – The year 2021 has been rich in new long-distance rail service launches in Europe. New trains have appeared in Spain, France and on the segment of night trains. What these new services have in common is that many are initiatives by public companies. It would seem that the amount of challenges that need to be overcome to establish a new service a…


Great-Britain: scaled back plan for HS2 network project
21/11/2021 – The UK’s high-speed network project HS2 is undergoing a major slimming down in the part towards the Midlands. The authorities intend to shift the focus of rail policy to local and regional transport in this region. But with what money?


No intelligent train without infrastructures
07/11/2021 – It is sometimes believed that the intelligent train would be enough to solve some of the problems of railway operations. However, this train will have no impact without the infrastructure that accompanies it.



The transport decarbonisation plan: by rail but not only
26/09/2021 – The railways will never make a modal shift alone, simply by virtue of their existence. Other assets are needed, which are the responsibility of the State. For example, regional planning and the configuration of living areasxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx


The railway: still a very national matter
05/09/2021 – International traffic between EU Member States was set to grow considerably with open borders and the Schengen area. Has this really benefited the #railways? According EU report, only 6 % crossing borders in 2016 by rail


Europe-InfrastructureSeparate company, administration or integrated subsidiary: what is the right formula for the railway infrastructure?
15/08/2021 – After 30 years of European legislation, the railways still do not seem to have found the magic governance formula. One thing is certain: the old hyper-integrated system has amply demonstrated that it is not capable of stemming the hemorrhaging of traffic nor to reduce the burden on public finances. So what should we choose? This is what we explain here.


Europe-Fit-for-55What can rail expect from Europe’s Fit for 55 policy?
25/07/2021 – The European Commission’s long-awaited ‘Fit for 55’ package, intended to facilitate a European Union greenhouse gas emissions cut of 55% by 2030 compared to 1990, has as its core mission to turn the 2020s into a transformative decade for climate action. What exactly are we talking about and what is the impact on transport?


Europe-RailwaysDoubling rail freight: a very ambitious goal
13/06/2021 – There is little debate around the importance to move freight from road to rail. This shift is a key strategy for contributing to the European Green Deal’s goal of decreasing freight’s CO2 emissions. Europe has set a goal to increase the sector’s market share to 30% by 2030.


Rail-freight-corridorEnd of franchises and a new era for British railways
05/24/2021 – A new public sector body named Great British Railways as part of railway reforms will own and manage rail infrastructure, issue contracts to private firms to run trains, set most fares and timetables, and sell tickets. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxx


DeutschlandtaktD-Takt: the great challenge of the clockface timetable 1/2
05/02/2021 – A train every half hour from city to city and from village to village. Convenient transfers without long waiting times, even in the countryside. Riding a train anywhere in the country would be as easy as riding the S-Bahn in the cities today. It is the Deutschlandtakt, the german’s clockface timetable.


Trans-Europ-ExpressThe Trans-Europ-Express explained for Millennials
04/18/2021 – This has been the big buzz in recent months since the German transport minister presented his TEE 2.0 concept in 2020, which includes night trains and a host of other things. But what was really the TEE?



RailwaysWhat have you done with the railways in recent decades?
04/05/2021 – « The market share of rail has not increased despite liberalization, » said the Portuguese minister. Why? This is explained in this article.


EuropeA call for a strong and unified railway
03/22/2021 – Rail is an important transport tool in all European countries. But it remains a very « national » thing compared to aviation or the car. There are two areas where it is imperative to make a qualitative leap


UK-railwaysDatas and mobile app: a new weapon to dominate
02/01/2021 – How mobile app are becoming a weapon for one company to dominate rail transport. The question is whether this is how there will be a modal shift



UK-railwaysWhat has the liberalization of the european railways brought?
01/11/2021 – The liberalisation of the railways is still something that is poorly explained, leading to various slogans and beliefs. Here we try to look around the issue


UK-railways2021 The European Year Of Rail
01/04/2021 – Europe has decided it: 2021 has been proclaimed the European Year of Rail. This is an opportunity for this little-known sector to make itself known and to show how it can participate in the climate transition


TRAXX_RegiojetThe railways after covid: between challenges and opportunities
12/28/2020 – The year 2020 is coming to an end with an unexpected upheaval. The society is changing and the train will have to change too, to adapt to this new world.


logisticsEurope calls for zero-emission transport by 2050. An opportunity for railways
12/14/2020 – Europe presents its mobility strategy through ten measures, five of which concern the rail sector.


logisticsSustainable railways mean infrastructure works !
11/16/2020 – 2021 has been designated European Year of Rail. This means not only modern trains but also good railway infrastructures. Some people believe that this is not always necessary. Really?


local_economyWant to save the environment? Then you should stop traveling !
11/02/2020 – Why a climate lockdown and the local economy can put the train at risk? If there is no more travel, there are no more trains. If the economy is local, there are no more freight trains


Automatic_couplingA pool of vehicles could facilitate access for operators of pulled trains
10/26/2020 – One of the problems facing new entrants is the acquisition of rolling stock. Leasing formulas exist for traction equipment, but less so for pulled equipment. This can be an obstacle, especially for night trains.


Automatic_couplingRailways: making progress with the existence of other transports
10/12/2020 – The modal shift to rail will not be promoted by prohibiting other transport modes from progressing, but by meeting the demands of users, whether citizens or industrialists.


regional_trafficReconnecting cross-border railway services
10/05/2020 – Cross-border services sometimes present operational difficulties, but this actually depends on many factors.


SNCF_Nort-sur-ErdreThe importance of railway stations, large or small
06/07/2020 – How we can transform our small stations into user-friendly and sustainability-oriented places. There are good ideas for revitalization everywhere


Public transport must have a central place in the world
06/05/2020 – Public transport must have a central place in the world. This is what the world’s major public transport associations are calling for. But there are many obstacles…


0001New homes should only be built near train stations
04/15/2020 – Bringing homes closer to railway stations will help us achieve part of our climate goals. Explanations


Shinkansen_02Why are Japanese trains so punctual? – 03/22/2020 – The Japanese are clearly the world champions in punctuality for all trains. But why is that and how do they do it? Explanations.


NQR Line-station-US passengers railways are bad, but Americans don’t care. Why?
11/22/2019 – The webzine Vox explains that Americans view public transit as a welfare system for those who can’t afford to drive. Public transport is considered as the transport of the poor, of the one who has not succeeded. The same picture is applied to passengers railways.


OBB_5ÖBB, a major player in Central Europe – 11/04/2019 – Focus on a “small” railway that wants to make a name for itself in Central Europe: the austrian railways, ÖBB.


LokfuhrerIntegrated or non-Integrated railway, an infinite debate
08/25/2019 – What’s the best ? Some politicians and experts have intended to separate the infrastructure for several reasons


Maglev_10Are futuristic maglev trains could revolutionize railways ?
06/17/2019 – While the world looks at Hyperloop projects with caution, it is useful to look at another railway technology: magnetic levitation, which Europe seems to have definitively cancelled …


uk_freight_04_rob reedmanBritish rail freight before Brexit
01/06/2019 – Brexit is coming soon. It is therefore wise to give a final account of the state of rail freight in Britain before future events come to reconsider everything.


Evo-Padova_2018NTV-Italo : seven years and now success
05/05/2019 – Last month marked the seventh anniversary of NTV-Italo, the italian private high speed train. It has now become a reference for rail liberalization. Welcome in Italy.


Staff_1Trains with no staff on board: an infinite debate …
04/23/2019 – Train guards on board is a recurring subject within the whole of Europe. With or without a staff on board? A brief overview of experiences and arguments from each.


Nightjet_Pascal Hartmann flickrNightjet : renaissance of night trains in Europe
04/29/2019 – While Great-Britain is putting new night trains into service between London and Scotland, we can already see what is happening in Central Europe. Nightjet shows that a good night train services and a good business model can generate revenues and profits.


MaaS_1Mobility as a Service : the battle of data
29/10/2018 – The concept of Mobility As A Service (MaaS) involves pooling traffic data from all companies involved in a digital platform. However, all companies do not intend to provide what is the oil of today: the data.


Containers trainFreight in Europe : are the right questions asked?
08/19/2018 – David Briginshaw, senior columnist for the International Railway Journal, signs a pessimistic editorial in the August issue. He’s not wrong. Entitled « Time is not on the side of Europeans freight operators » , this column is a reporting of the June Conference in Genoa. What did we learn at this high mass ?


Trieste_MSCTrieste harbour : an example of intermodal transport
10/03/2018 – We do not talk much about the Italian port of Trieste. And yet, it is wrong to forget it. It presents one of the best examples of multimodal transport in Europe. A visit.