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New EU Train Regulations Allow International Competition

December 14, 2009 By: Jena Tesse Fox

Beginning January 1, 2010 under EU Directive 2007/58, European Union regulations will allow all rail operators to compete with one another for passengers on all routes within the European Union borders for the first time. Trains owned by any of the national railroads of Europe will be able to operate their trains along the tracks of other European countries.
Train travel currently owns a greater market share on most European short haul routes. On journeys under three hours, trains own approximately 70 percent market share Vs air and as much as 90-95 percent on journeys less than two hours. While cross-border train connections have existed in Europe for many years, under the new deregulation rules, both national and privatized railroads will be able to operate trains across borders and pick up new passengers outside their home countries en route to their final destination.  

Rail Europe Inc, a North American company owned by the national railroads of France and Switzerland, is the largest distributor of European rail products and uniformly represents 35 European railroad operators. In a statement, the company said that the deregulation of the European railways will benefit passengers by allowing competing rail lines to offer better prices, more seats, and more services.


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