Foreword: Developing the vision and strategy for Europe’s future rail system
11 April 2014 • Author(s): Simon Fletcher, Coordinator – Europe, UIC
The rail sector’s vision is that railways, already vital to Europe’s social and economic well-being, will contribute even more in the future; an efficient rail system that is the backbone for the growth and competiveness of the European economy. Europe’s rail companies and stakeholders have collaborated to develop and publish the vision of the future European rail system. The Rail Operating Community (ROC) has taken this one step further and come together to set out a technical strategy to enable the vision to become reality.
Publication of a ‘vision document’ is already a significant step taken by the rail sector; the key now is to make it happen.
Challenge 20501 was published in February 2013 and was endorsed by the Presidents of all of the principal rail sector associations and representative associations of rail’s main customers. It examines how the principle challenges and opportunities such as capacity, consistency, connectivity, competitiveness, carbon, and cost etc. should be addressed and identifies some specific objectives to comple – ment the vision.
The future railway in Europe will have an absolute focus on the customer. The vision describes how rail will be increasingly adaptable, flexible, resilient and quick to respond to customer requirements and to make rail the first transportation choice for the passenger and the shipper. The European rail system will deliver great value for money and be seen as highly attractive – the way to travel.