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Monday, May 27, 2024

Britain’s railway named Europe’s most improved

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Britain has the most improved railway in Europe, a new study has found.

Research led by the European Commission has revealed that Britain outperformed all 27 EU member states when comparing the progression of each country’s rail network since the 1990s, beating Germany (7th), France (10th) and Italy (23rd).

Britain performed particularly well in safety, passenger satisfaction and recorded the highest modal shift to rail from other modes of transport.

The study did, however, show a significant increase in the cost of rail travel since 2000, with prices in Britain up 34 per cent – compared to 16 per cent in Germany and 10 per cent in France.

Network Rail’s chief executive, David Higgins said: “We made clear in our five-year plan published in January that we are under no illusion about the challenges that both we, and the passengers who use the railway, face on a daily basis, and the need to keep improving from the low base to which Britain’s railway had sunk in the 1990s.

“We continue to work with other railways so that we can all learn from best practice in our businesses and we welcome efforts by the Commission to provide improved consistency and transparency of data.

“This report shows both the progress that we have made in driving forward our performance, and the very real challenges and opportunities that the growth in demand poses for us all.

“We run one of Europe’s most intense, fastest growing railways with all the implications for wear and tear as well as congestion that that implies. That is why we have made the case for sustained investment in both renewing and modernising the railway while increasing its capacity.”

Vice president of the European Commission Siim Kallas said: “Europe’s railways are in transition.

“New investment and new business models are needed to take advantage of the opportunities arising from high fuel costs, urbanisation and the need to decarbonise – and to counter the loss of government subsidies in a time of economic difficulty. That is why in January the Commission proposed major reforms in particular for the European passenger market.

“Today’s report helps us compare railways across the EU in order to identify best practice. And it shows that there are many lessons to be learnt from the UK experience.”

2 COMMENTS

  1. I recently returned from a tour round Europe via Holland, Germany, Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria and Belgium during which I travelled on some excellent trains but equally saw some dismal stations and rolling stock. On my return I was impressed by the uncluttered appearance and clear signage at St Pancras, Kings Cross and my local station, Darlington. What is more, the rolling stock was gleaming: both Eastcoast and Grand Central looking their best and wifi (free) ready. In contrast, both Thalys and Eurostar looked a bit shabby.

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