Boosting rail travel is a key element in the European Commission’s smart and sustainable mobility strategy, with plans to double the number of high-speed rail passengers by 2030. Trains are considered a green alternative to flying and a vital means to cut emissions in the transport sector.
But the last 18 months have been exceptionally challenging for the rail industry, as the COVID-19 pandemic has caused passenger numbers to fall sharply and revenues to plummet. It’s only now, as Europe re-opens, that the industry is seeing signs of recovery.
In this Over a Coffee, Alberto Mazzola, Executive Director of the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER), speaks about the industry’s emergence from the pandemic, efforts to promote train travel as part of the European Year of Rail, the need for infrastructure upgrades to make rail more competitive, and what the future of train travel in Europe might look like.