CZ/SK verze

Live from IRFC 2022: "Europe's railways are underfunded," says Deputy Prime Minister of Luxembourg

Live from IRFC 2022: &quote;Europe's railways are underfunded,&quote; says Deputy Prime Minister of Luxembourg
photo: RAILTARGET/Live from IRFC 2022: "Europe's railways are underfunded," says Deputy Prime Minister of Luxembourg
05 / 10 / 2022

IRFC 2022 continues! After the opening ceremony and the 1st thematic session, we continue with an open expert discussion. Speakers include Carlo Borghini, Executive Director of ER JU, Lukáš Svoboda, Member of the Board of Directors of ČD, and Francois Bausch, Deputy Prime Minister of Luxembourg and Minister of Transport.

One of the topics was the underfunding of the railways. Bausch, Deputy Prime Minister of Luxembourg, gave the US as a model country, where nearly 800 trillion dollars is invested massively in railways compared to Europe. There is also work to be done to link up the different countries and the main task is for their governments to facilitate this process for the railways.

Radek Čech, Director of International Relations at SŽ, contributed to the discussion on the Via Vindobona project within the TEN-T framework. It is being worked on closely with Austria and new corridors will be opened on this line in the future.

The situation in Luxembourg is very interesting, and intermodality is being worked on very hard because the vast majority of traffic is on the road. Moving to rail could be political suicide, in the words of Vice-President Bausch, so we need to be sensible on these issues.

Carlo Borghini mentioned that the last links in the chain of the future of rail are technologies such as DAC or ERTMS. Then we will have a whole system that will work, it is not really about individual components. We also need to have a clear plan on how to implement these technologies.

There is also a consensus around the fact that a combination of transport modes will deliver even better results and help the overall efficiency of transport. Coordination will be important. As well as building and managing infrastructure, as Radek Čech confirmed. Planning itself is more challenging for large projects in the Czech Republic because there is not enough information for infrastructure managers to plan effectively. It is also about finding compromises, which is also challenging.