This is what the European Year of Rail has to offer

This year is the European Year of Rail, and the European Commission has launched the official website of this event. The train as a smart and sustainable means of transport will receive extra attention in 2021. In the Year of Rail, milestones are set for increasing the market share of rail transport, thus contributing to the objectives of the EU Green Deal to reduce CO2 emissions with sustainable mobility.

To highlight the key role of rail for the economy, industry and society, the EU has designated 2021 as the European Year of Rail. Despite the many advantages of the train, only about 7 per cent of passengers and 11 percent of goods are transported by rail.

The European Year of Rail aims to significantly increase the market share of rail passenger and freight transport. “Through a variety of actions, we will take this opportunity to help rail realise its full potential”, said Adina Vălean, European Commissioner for Transport.


The recently launched website features well-known events, with the first being the European Railway Award 2021 from CER and UNIFE on 25 January. There are also events specifically related to the Year of Rail. The official kick-off will be on 29 March 2021, marking the beginning of the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

Companies and organisations are encouraged to participate, in order to promote and improve rail transport. “The European Year of Rail offers us the opportunity to rediscover this way of traveling. I invite you all to participate in the European Year of Rail”, said Vălean.

Action plan

The European Commission’s legislative agenda will also reflect the European Year of Rail, with proposals for a new industrial partnership for rail transport, better links between rail and other modes of transport, the commission said. It also has the ambition to make freight transport more sustainable, as outlined in the sustainable and smart mobility strategy recently adopted by the commission. It aims to double rail freight and triple high-speed trains by 2050.

Next year, the commission will present an action plan to boost passenger rail transport. The strategy will provide measures to improve capacity and ticket sales for different modes of transport to further enhance the attractiveness of the railways.

Author: Esther Geerts

Add your comment

characters remaining.

Log in through one of the following social media partners to comment.