The #CrossBorderRail project that I am running as part of my wider Trains for Europe advocacy work has taken on a life of its own, and hence I am putting the main Trains for Europe site on pause between now and the start of August 2022.

The need for the European Union to solve the problem of the absence of night trains, Europe-wide, by organising the procurement of a fleet of new trains – the key Trains for Europe demand – has not disappeared, but since the release of the European Commission’s Rail Action Plan in December 2021 it has become clear that adequate action at EU level to solve this problem is not going to be forthcoming short term. Solving this problem is going to need either other means (solving it within the rail industry rather than via political means), solving it nationally rather than at EU level (I have some ideas what could be done in Germany in particular), or laying the ground politically for the next Commission term from 2024.

And that then brings me to the #CrossBorderRail project. The central problem remains that EU action on international rail does not match the rhetoric. The EU might have named 2021 as European Year of Rail, but we see scant little practical action to match the rhetoric. The EU has poured money into infrastructure, but services are often lacking, timetables are not coordinated, and ticketing remains a mess.

These are all the issues I am going to highlight in the project that will run from 13 June until 1st August. During that period there will be no further posts here on the Trains for Europe site, and all the posts instead will be about the project – in the Updates section of the #CrossBorderRail site. The email notification system will temporarily switch as well – if you receive email notifications from the Trains for Europe campaign, these will be switched to the #CrossBorderRail project for the duration.

So come along for the ride – and join the efforts to make it as easy to take a train cross-border as it is within one country!

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