by Josephine Cordero Sapién
13 Nov 2020
The Council and the European Parliament have come to a provisional agreement on making 2021 the European Year of Rail.
The EU has chosen a theme every year since 1983 that it wishes to celebrate and highlight in the minds of the public. The proposal for making 2021 the European Year of Rail sits well with the bloc’s climate change objectives set out within the European Green Deal.
“Rail is the answer to many critical issues in the area of mobility, such as climate neutrality, energy efficiency, crisis resilience and safety. The Year of Rail aims to give a boost to the sector and to encourage more tourists, business people and manufacturers to choose the train.”
When the European Commission first proposed the Year of Rail in March 2020, the coronavirus pandemic had not yet highlighted the crucial role of rail in maintaining crucial transport connections for both people and goods. Rail is therefore not just an environmentally mode of transport, it is a critical one.
The Year of Rail will also aim to highlight the international European dimension of rail and to increase its contribution to the European Union – its economy, industry and society.
Following the provisional agreement reached by the Council and the Parliament, the Commission will now be invited to launch two feasibility studies. The first is to look into the creation of a European label to promote goods transported by rail. The second is to investigate the establishment of a rail connectivity index akin to the one that already exists for air transport. The Commission has until the end of March 2021 to let the Council and the Parliament know about its plans.
The provisional agreement now has to be approved by the Council. The presidency intends to submit the agreement for endorsement by the Council’s Permanent Representatives Committee next week.
Scotland’s First Minister has said that decarbonising transport, including rail services, can help reduce the threat of climate change.
Network Rail has announced a £25m plan to protect the Newport-Gloucester line from further damage caused by extreme weather.
New research by the Rail Delivery Group has highlighted the negative effect new commuting habits could have on city centre economies.
New open access operator Lumo will offer direct, fully electric rail services between London and Edinburgh starting at £14.90 for a single.
During its first year of operation, it's predicted that 6.6 million people will choose to travel on the MCD D3 line rather than by car.
Network Rail is delivering works to prevent the tracks between Crewe and Chester from flooding as part of the Great North Rail Project.
A new section of the MTA Coney Island Yard Complex is being fortified against extreme weather to make it more resilient to climate change.
Deutsche Bahn continues to ramp up its green power supply by completing its first cross-border, long-term green electricity contract.
Hybrid cars built in the Midlands will soon be carried to continental Europe via an eco-locomotive that runs on hydro-treated vegetable oil.
Deutsche Bahn has taken stock after the 2021 floods, saying the damage is of historic proportions and might take years to fix in full.
HS2 designers are set to more than halve the amount of embedded carbon used in one of the high-speed rail project’s viaducts.
DB has reported significant damage to rail infrastructure in Germany following the extreme storms in Europe last week.
The UK government has published its Decarbonising Transport plan, in which it also lays out how it will decarbonise rail by 2050.
High-speed parcel deliveries to city centres will soon be made by converted passenger trains showcases Network Rail and Orion.
The Rail Delivery Group is calling on the UK government to introduce policies that will help shift freight from road to rail.
Network Rail lays its first composite railway sleepers across the weight-restricted Sherrington Viaduct between Salisbury and Warminster.
Deutsche Bahn has brought forward its deadline for achieving climate-neutrality by ten years, with 2040 as the new target date.
The RDG has warned that a cut in domestic air passenger duty would see thousands of passengers shift from rail to air.
A year on from its investigation into poor train performance in the NW&C region, the ORR has announced that progress has been made.
Why Rail Electrification: the UK rail industry has written an open letter to government to urge for a rolling programme of electrification.
France: members of parliament in the National Assembly have voted on the climate and resilience bill which bans short-haul domestic flights.
The Transport Committee has published a report, Trains Fit for the Future?, which calls for a 30-year rolling programme of electrification.
Network Rail has published an updated report on the resilience of the railways following the Stonehaven derailment.
Czech rolling stock manufacturer CZ LOKO has sold an EffiShunter 1000 shunting locomotive to Trainpoint Norway. It will be delivered in 2021.
Austrian Federal Railways and Siemens Mobility have unveiled the exterior design of the new generation of Nightjet trains in Vienna.
Finland's state railway company VR Group has started producing energy. It has installed solar panels on Pendolino Hall at its Helsinki depot.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson's 10-Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution aims at incentivising driving and doesn't mention rail.
Although hydrogen and fuel cell technology can play its part in the rail sector, it will not decarbonise transport. It is a fringe component.
Midlands Voices report by the High Speed Rail Group says the eastern leg of HS2 up to Leeds is crucial for levelling up the country.
The second section of the Dawlish sea wall is being built using the 'Wavewalker', a floating barge that can withstand high tidal ranges.
Deutsche Bahn updated its vegetation management programme in 2018, investing more money and personnel and cutting storm damage by 25 percent.
The United States has a new president-elect, Joe Biden. But why is he called 'Amtrak Joe'? And what has he said about the importance of rail?
Network Rail will reopen the railway line between Aberdeen and Dundee which has been closed since August following the Stonehaven derailment.
HS1 Ltd has lauched its sustainability strategy, unveiling the goal of becoming the first UK railway run entirely on renewable energy.
The track repair works are getting underway at the site of the Stonehaven derailment, following the clearance of the wreckage.
A private rail freight protest train made its way through Berlin to draw attention to the German government's one-sided support of DB.
The Edinburgh-Glasgow railway line was serious damaged by flooding on 12 August. Following repairs, it will reopen on 21 September.
Network Rail has published the Traction Decarbonisation Network Strategy, outlining how to remove diesel-only trains from the network.
Network Rail has published its interim report on the Stonehaven derailment as commissioned by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.
Following preparatory works, including building a 900m road and bridge over farmland, the work of recovering the derailed train can begin.
Deutsche Bahn (DB) is trialling different alternative fuels and traction systems in order to eliminate diesel fully from its vehicles by 2050.
Network Rail has launched a weather action task force and an earthworks management task force following the recent Stonehaven derailment.
The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) has published an update on the Stonehaven Derailment that occurred in Scotland on 12 August.
The main line connecting Edinburgh and Glasgow has sustained serious damage following flooding from the nearby Union canal.
Network Rail Chief Executive Andrew Haines arrived at the Stonehaven derailment site and promised that immediate action would be taken.
3 people died when a Scotrail Inter7City service derailed at Stonehaven on 12 August. The BTP, ORR and RAIB are investigating the cause.
The Rail Delivery Group has submitted proposals to influence the government's Transport Decarbonisation Plan and make taxation fairer.
Alstom and Eversholt Rail are investing a further 1 million GBP into the hydrogen train Breeze in order to accelerate the UK hydrogen sector.
The CER has published a position paper advocating for applying the user-pays and polluter-pays principles across the transport sector.
Deutsche Bahn (DB) is expanding its programme to paint rails white as a way of keeping them cool and protecting the steel from the heat.
After the German government moved ahead with an ongoing exemption to the lorry toll, rail groups have asked the Bundesrat for help.
Rail freight operator Lineas is putting on extra services to anticipate low water levels which previously have prevented barge transports.
Deutsche Bahn has reached a coronavirus agreement with the German government, union, works council and employers' association.
Network Rail has unveiled plans for the remaining section of new sea wall at Dawlish, with works on the first section ongoing.
Anu Tuominen on the mobility culture of the future in the context of the European Green Deal, which is to make Europe carbon-neutral by 2050.
The European Commission has proposed that 2021 be the European Year of Rail to highlight rail's contribution to achieving the Green Deal.
Passengers travelling by rail between London and mainland Europe create 60,000 flights worth of carbon emissions less than if they flew.
The UK PM gave the go-ahead for HS2 in parliament today. This decision has been welcomed by industry in general, including the rail sector.
The UK government will today give HS2 the go-ahead following a review into the high-speed rail project due to concerns about its cost.
Deutsche Bahn will feed solar power directly into its traction power network with a new solar park measuring 70 football pitches in size.
Six rail associations have signed a charter on digital automatic coupling for freight wagons across Europe to push forward the shift to rail.
HS2 has been heavily criticised by environmental organisations. Railway-News believes this is short-sighted and needs addressing.
Deutsche Bahn and the United Kingdom are both to be official partners to the Greentech Festival, which will be held in Berlin 19–21 June.
Following von der Leyen's speech on the EU Green Deal in the European Parliament, the rail industry has voiced its support.
Transfesa Logistics has wrapped one of its locomotives with the #TimetoAct message and will deliver this message across Spain.
Adif says it wants to reduce its carbon footprint by 86 percent by 2030, taking into account its plans to purchase green electricity.
The climate change conference COP25 is under way in Madrid. Transport is a major polluter and a shift to rail is vital for our future.
Germany will cut VAT on long-distance rail journeys to 7%, down from the current 19%. It will also increase taxes on air passengers.
Henrik Hololei spoke at Digital Transport Days to hail the successes and goals of Shift2Rail to address climate change and other focuses.
Rail Baltica has produced a study to assess the potential impact of climate change on the project and to develop mitigation measures.
The Rail Delivery Group has published proposals for rail fare reforms following the largest-ever passenger survey in the country.
Copenhagen's new metro line, Cityringen, will open on 29 September 2019. It has been under construction for 8 years and features 17 stations.
Deutsche Bahn is experimenting with white rails to reduce the temperature of the steel, thereby avoiding stress on the rails in extreme heat.
Deutsche Bahn says it will halve its use of glyphosate in 2020 and instead focus on more mechanical, manual options for removing weeds.
Network Rail has run a worksite in South Wales that was 97 percent diesel-free, demonstrating the viability of solar technologies.
The first Hitachi Azuma trains have entered service on the East Coast Main Line between London and Leeds for franchise operator LNER.
Noah's Train, a freight train aimed to promote a shift from road to rail to reduce the impact of freight on the environment, has reached Rome.
The Railway-News Industry Insider Week 18 with all the rail news from 29 Apr to 3 May, including the new 'explosion-proof' train for Tel Aviv.
The CCC has published its Net Zero report, outlining how the UK can help stop climate change by 2050. We look at the tranport aspect.
Deutsche Bahn participated in Earth Hour, plunging its major office buildings in Berlin, Frankfurt and Essen into darkness for one hour.
All the important rail news of the week, summed up for you in one place: our Railway-News Industry Insider for 21–25 January 2019.
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