The aim of this 2021 European Year of Rail is to raise awareness of the benefits of trains as a sustainable, comfortable and safe means of transport and increase the share of passengers and freight transport using it.
Developing railways and its cross-border European dimension can contribute to the EU’s economy, industry and society, while also helping maintain vital services even during unexpected crisis. The initiative will also contribute to the EU Green Deal and its goal of becoming climate-neutral by 2050.
Throughout the year, a variety of activities will put rail in the spotlight to encourage the use of rail across Europe by both citizens and businesses.
“Our future mobility needs to be sustainable, safe, comfortable and affordable. Rail offers all of that and much more! The European Year of Rail gives us the opportunity to re-discover this mode of transport. Through a variety of actions, we will use this occasion to help rail realise its full potential. I invite all of you to be part of the European Year of Rail”, highlights Adina Vălean, European Commissioner for Transport in a press release.
The European Commission has launched a website dedicated to that 2021 Year (availaible in all EU languages), which will provide an overview of the various events, projects and activities across the EU as part of this European Year.
The official hashtag on Twitter is #EUYearofRail
We welcome the initiative, while recalling that rail accessibility will be essential to achieve the expected objectives. What is at stake is not only the “physical” accessibility of trains, but also the multimodal transport approach in the broadest sense and the geographical coverage to reach out rural areas.