Some official bodies from the European rail industry recently held a meeting in Lyon, France in which they revealed their plans to introduce a high-speed and ultra-modern rail system in Europe that could prove a good alternative for short-haul flights. Moreover, it is regarded as a sustainable alternative as well, which would also support the “green environment” regulations for Europe.
As per the CNN travel reports, the projected railway system would cover an extensive transportation network throughout Europe by connecting with every major city. This high-speed railway system would cover the same amount of distance in a similar time frame as done by short-haul flights daily. According to Alberto Mazzola, who is the executive director of the Community of European Railways, “While a lot has been achieved so far—Paris-Lyon, Milan-Rome, Barcelona-Madrid, and Berlin-Munich are all national success stories for rail—much more is needed if the ambitious objectives of the European Green Deal and Smart and Sustainability Mobile Strategy are to be met.”
According to the officials, this system would further extend its roots across Europe by up to three times by 2050, but critics are not satisfied with this decision. They have concerns related to the “EU climate goals”, but as per the European Commission, transport contributes about a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions, and if we talk about the emissions related to aviation and road travel, then these two sit at the top.
However, compared with road and air travel, rail transportation has always been a better and more sustainable option in terms of climate goals. Apart from this, Jon Worth, who is a campaigner for cross-border rail, stated, “Unfortunately, we’ve heard it all before and this sounds like the railways over-promising again.” Seeing this and a lot of other comments like this shows that critics are still not satisfied and think that meeting the EU climate goals through high-speed railways cannot be made entirely possible.
Moreover, you might be aware that the European railway systems were badly affected by the recent pandemic in terms of financial considerations, and this new alternative seems like a ray of hope to revive rail travel again, thereby meeting sustainable environmental goals as well.