On 23. February, Josef Schneider, Chairman of EPF, participated in a high-level conference on “The renewal of night trains in Europe”, focusing on night trains’ potential as a sustainable mode of transport at the service of regional development.
EPF welcomes any additional offers of public transport. A network of European night train connections enables rail travellers to cover longer distances. In the end, however, the right framework conditions – track access charges, costs for infrastructure and rolling stock maintenance, taxes, energy costs – need to be in place in order for night trains to become a market success. Assuming these barriers can be successfully overcome, what will make night trains successful?
- First of all, passengers need to know about the offer, i.e. reliable, comprehensive and easy to understand information about the timetable, the available services (sleeping cars, couchettes, catering, bicycle carriage, luggage etc.) and tariffs, taking account of the full door-to-door journey.
- During the journey, promises must be kept (ensured connections, cleanliness, comfort, PRM support, real-time information) and if something goes wrong, reaching the final destination is the priority and compensation is welcome to atone for any discomfort experienced.
- Crossing borders often poses problems for passengers; it is important to have seamless connections between long- and short-distance transport and that national and international transport systems are aligned and work together.