All aboard!: With fuel prices on the rise, trains have become a more viable and sustainable mode of travel. However, due to longer travel times, high ticket prices and a lack of last-mile infrastructure, many Europeans still favour the plane or car over the train. What steps can the EU take to improve and facilitate European-wide railway transportation?

Submitted by: Naut Bordewijk (NL), Sem de Bruijn (NL), FĂ©line Mac Donald (NL), Natascha Martinez (NL), Tess Tang (NL), Tommie Steenwinkel (Chairperson, NL)

The European Youth Parliament,

  1. Noting with deep concern that people travelling through Europe tend to choose more polluting transportation options such as travelling by plane or car due to a lack of certain customer inconveniences like inadequate luggage space, facilities,  hygiene, and train capacity;
  2. Alarmed by the fact that European train travel is not always accessible for citizens with physical disabilities,
  3. Aware that the existence of national monopolies on rail travel lead to:
    1. deficiencies in technical and functional improvements,
    2. high ticket prices;
  4. Noting with deep concern that a lack of interoperability hinders the aim of a single European railway area because of:
    1. international train operators needing additional certificates for every Member State they operate in,
    2. Member States mostly focus on their own railway infrastructure instead of cross-border railway infrastructure,
    3. technical differences in infrastructure between every Member State;
  5. Taking into consideration that travelling by train is still relatively slow compared to other transportation options as a result of:
    1. long transfer times,
    2. certain destinations in Europe not being easily accessible or not being accessible at all when travelling by train;
  1. Calls upon the European Commision to create an advisory organ consisting of industry experts and lawmakers advising on:
    1. the drafting of guidelines for and checks on European train companies regarding luggage space, facilities, hygiene, and passenger capacity,
    2. the most efficient timetables for international trains travelling through Europe,
    3. the maintenance and upgrading of railway networks,
    4. create a singular international certificate for conductors operating cross-border trains;
  2. Calls upon Member States to invest in high-speed underground railway networks that focuses on improving last-mile infrastructure;
  3. Calls upon Member States to increase funding for the single European railway area financed through the reallocation of a yet-to-introduce distance-based tax on flights happening within the EU;
  4. Calls upon the European Regional Development Fund to increase funding for research projects on more accessible high-speed trains;
  5. Calls upon the European Commission to increase funding for the accessibility of railway stations in order to:
    1. fit every train platform with at least one customer lift,
    2. equip every train station with luggage drop-off systems;
  6. Calls upon the European Commission to facilitate the creation of a European railway deal between all European train and railway infrastructure companies that aims to:
    1. encourage all prospective railway infrastructure to use the same railway width, and electrical voltage, and implement the railway operating system ERTMS,
    2. encourage companies to reform their existing railway infrastructure to common standards,
    3. encourage railway infrastructure companies to collectively invest in new international railway infrastructure projects.