CZ/SK verze

Transport ministers held an informal meeting to discuss energy prices and railway development

Transport ministers held an informal meeting to discuss energy prices and railway development
photo: Archive/Transport ministers held an informal meeting to discuss energy prices and railway development
23 / 10 / 2022

Development of rail transport, the future shape of the TEN-T network, or energy prices. These were the main topics of the informal meeting of the Transport Council held on October 21 in Prague. The heads of ministries also discussed how to make rail transport more attractive and reliable.

"Strengthening relations in the field of transport will undoubtedly contribute not only to the easier movement of people but will also improve economic and social links both within the EU and externally. We need to find ways to make rail transport more efficient and attractive for passengers. After the constraints caused by the covid-19 pandemic, we are seeing an increasing interest in travel, but at the same time we are seeing obstacles to greater use of rail, especially in cross-border connections," says Czech Transport Minister Martin Kupka on the negotiations.

In the morning, ministers discussed the development of high-speed lines in different parts of Europe. They also discussed the direction of further investments from EU money. They also addressed the inclusion of some new connections in the TEN-T pan-European transport backbone network and better rail connectivity in general.

Indeed, rail transport plays a key role in the European Union today, as confirmed by the Russian aggression against Ukraine, where rail was used to transport goods and people fleeing the war. Rail is also an environmentally friendly and sustainable mode of transport.

The draft revision of the TEN-T network then envisages the elimination of those links located on the territory of Russia and Belarus, and instead the inclusion of transport corridors in Ukraine and Moldova, including the possibility of switching to standard gauge.

Another topic of the informal meeting of the Transport Council was the current energy prices, which the heads of ministries discussed at a working lunch. Rail transport in particular has been hit hard by the price rise and the issue of expensive energy has also become one of the key issues of the Czech Presidency.

The ministers agreed that despite rising energy prices, it is necessary to continue further electrification of railways. They also debated what individual carriers and infrastructure managers can do to reduce energy intensity and how to maintain the current scale of transport. "We have prepared a set of concrete practical measures to reduce energy consumption on railways that are used by individual member states. These include the acquisition of more efficient vehicles capable of recuperation, the unification of power supply systems, greater use of local renewable sources, increasing the fluidity of journeys without the need for frequent stops, or replacing the lighting of station buildings and tracks with a more efficient type," said Martin Kupka.

A search then marked the afternoon meeting for ways to improve the quality of rail transport and ensure its greater reliability. The ministers discussed how to remove technical obstacles, improve the coordination of closures, the reliability of transport, or the continuity of connections. They also discussed making it easier to buy international tickets or better informing passengers about accidents and other incidents. They also discussed how to improve timetabling and promote long-distance and cross-border transport.


Source: Czech Ministry of Transport Press Releases