News Release – MEPs call for a more passenger-oriented European railway system

Brussels, 4 December 2012A pragmatic and multimodal approach to passengers’ needs and expectations is vital in order to make the European rail system more attractive. This was the main message coming out from a Rail Forum Europe breakfast meeting on “How to meet passenger expectations” held on 4 December in Brussels and sponsored by the European Passengers’ Federation to celebrate its 10th anniversary.

Trevor Garrod, Chairman of the European Passengers’ Federation, highlighted the importance of international rail as an attractive, affordable and sustainable alternative to car and plane. In order for rail to increase its attractiveness, focus should be put on cross border and intermodal connections, for example by encouraging bicycles on trains and access to ferries for all potential passengers. He welcomed the European Commission’s Transport White Paper of 2011. “However the 2050 objectives set in the Commission’s vision seem too far off in the future. Therefore we definitely need intermediate objectives” he added. In line with the Commission’s priorities he concluded that “modal shift is the way forward”.

Rütger Fenkes, Project Leader on TAP TSI on behalf of the European rail sector, provided a legislative and technical overview on the work being carried out by the European Commission and railway stakeholders to address interoperability issues affecting rail passengers. For example, international ticketing has recently started to change significantly as a result of emerging carriers’ competition, technological progress and increased potential for revenue growth.

“TAP TSI is one of several EU approaches to facilitate the transition towards a new framework for customer information and ticketing” he said.

The European Commission’s Regulation on TAP TSI entered into force in May 2011, however the roadmap for its deployment is still to be refined as railways are currently planning their implementation timelines. Looking ahead at future challenges, he concluded: “We are seeing a multitude of European, or even worldwide, initiatives on ticketing, Consistency needs to be ensured and double-work needs to be avoided”.

Georges Bach, Member of the EP’s Transport Committee and Rail Forum Europe Board Member, rapporteur on an initiative report on "Passenger rights in all transport modes", highlighted some of the shortcomings of the actual legislation on passenger rights. "There is still a big need for implementation and correct application of the existing texts" he said. Mr Bach encouraged the political stakeholders to continue the dialogue with the railway undertakings, the National Enforcement Bodies and the passenger representatives in order to put the passengers in the centre of the attention and figure out a legislation which meets his expectations.

Ines Ayala-Sender, Member of the EP’s Transport Committee and Rail Forum Europe Board Member, commented that “passengers’ safety on night trains is a real issue which should not be underestimated”.

Brian Simpson, Chairman of the EP’s Transport Committee and Rail Forum Europe President, wondered whether rolling stock should be adapted in order to accommodate more bikes on trains. Moreover he called on the Commission to be more active in ensuring quick deployment of the TAP TSI. He concluded: “Providing passengers with access to ticketing information and reservations across the EU is of essence if we want to attract more people to rail travel”.

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To download the press release in pdf, please click here.

The presentations given by Trevor Garrod and Rütger Fenkes are available on Rail Forum Europe’s website:


Rail Forum Europe AISBL

Avenue Louise 221,

B-1050 Brussels, Belgium

Tel: +32 2 642 23 25



Executive Secretary

Leonardo Dongiovanni

 Managing Board

Brian Simpson MEP (President), Gesine Meissner MEP (Vice-President), Michael Cramer MEP (Vice-President), Ines Ayala-Sender MEP, Georges Bach MEP, Jan Březina MEP, Antonio Cancian MEP, Philippe De Backer MEP, Saïd El Khadraoui MEP, Ismail Ertug MEP, Malcolm Harbour MEP, Edit Herczog MEP, Danuta Hübner MEP, Boguslaw Liberadzki MEP, Jo Leinen MEP, Dominique Riquet MEP, Andreas Schwab MEP, Debora Serracchiani MEP, Evžen Tošenovský MEP, Karim Zeribi MEP

 About Rail Forum Europe

Founded by Members of the European Parliament from across the parliamentary committees, Rail Forum Europe is an international non-profit making association that aims at bringing together EU decision-makers and the rail sector to achieve a better understanding of rail-related issues. Rail Forum Europe is governed solely by a Managing Board of MEPs

 Rail Forum Europe. The MEPs’ platform dedicated to rail transport.

Categories Latest News | Tags: | Posted on December 4, 2012

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