European rail: more central than ever
This special issue of NIQ concludes the EU’s ‘year of rail.’ Over the past 30 years the EU has driven the transformation of the European rail sector with the aim of making it more efficient and more competitive vis-à-vis road. It has defined and actively pursued a liberalisation agenda through four railway packages. Recent policies to decarbonise the economy and the important role of transport in them have added both pressure and support. This special issue aims to document these efforts by giving the floor to some of the main actors in the process.
The first contribution, co-authored by Finger and Montero, presents the 30 years of rail reform from technical, financial and institutional perspectives.
Castelletti analyses developments in the rail regulatory framework, compares rail infrastructure and air-traffic management, and explains the role of railways in the modal shift.
Nash, Smith and Fitzová review the progress made by rail towards the modal shift, especially as a means of medium-distance passenger and long-distance freight transport.
Mazzola, Mussini and Pekin define the main priorities that will have to be set for rail to remain a central element in Europe’s mobility in the decades to come.