Etienne Schouppe - Articles and news items
Issue 1 2012 / 6 February 2012 /
“The railway will be the transport mode of the 21st century, if it survives the 20th.” I had to use this phrase on numerous occasions during my time as Chief Executive of the Belgian National Railway Company in the 1990s, in order to make my colleagues aware of the necessity, during tense budgetary periods for public authorities, to efficiently use the budgetary means put at the company’s disposal by the public stakeholder, and at the same time, highlight the obligation that the public authorities have to make sufficient appropriations in their budget to allow the least polluting means of transport to continue its development.
This message has been understood in my country, as well as other countries, which has allowed large railway infrastructure projects to be launched and the massive acquisition of new rolling stock; and this, to the profit of railway undertakings, infrastructure managers, their clients and industry in numerous domains which are the pride of Europe. In other world regions this inspires a wish to launch enormous construction projects too, which directly allows European businesses to conquer new markets in exporting a unique ‘savoir-faire’.