During the European Railway Summit event held on 21 February 2022, 33 railway operators and infrastructure managers from various European countries – including the FS Italiane Group – signed the European Railway Pact. This treaty was officially presented at the meeting also attended by Nicoletta Giadrossi – Chair of the FS Italiane Group. The Pact sees the main players in the European railway sector undertake to achieve a common goal: to increase railway’s share of transport and in doing so, significantly contribute to reaching climate neutrality by 2050.

The ecological emergency is here. Known to all, it requires today to play collectively to save our planet.

It is a simple fact: the train is the most eco-responsible mode of motorised transport. So how can we accept that the share of passenger and freight transport by rail remains so small? The transport sector is the second largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Europe. We cannot accept this situation, which only results in negative externalities for the society and jeopardises the future of new generations.

We, European rail operators and infrastructure managers, share the responsible conviction that railways have an essential role to play in the fight against climate change, and we are therefore making a concrete commitment to the development of rail in Europe.

Rail has a card to play to be a credible alternative to more polluting modes of transport for a sustainable and efficient door-to-door mobility of passengers and goods in Europe. To achieve this, we are committed to improving the customer experience. From reservations to real-time passenger information thanks to digital technology, as well as for international rail services, including night trains, we must do better to make rail more attractive.

Protecting the planet and fighting climate change will not be achieved without effort. We are ready for it: we commit to making the train even greener. We commit to reducing train-related greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030 compared to 2015. We commit to increasing our energy efficiency by 25% and achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. We commit to significantly increasing the recycling rate of our equipment by 2030.

The ecological emergency is also human. Our sector, so essential to the preservation of our planet and the lives of its inhabitants, cannot deprive itself of the skills of half of humanity. This is why we are committed to making the rail sector an inclusive sector by diversifying our recruitment. We will increase the number of women in all rail professions by further developing the "Women in Rail" agreement.

Because European railways are at the service of the future and therefore of young people, we will encourage apprenticeships, international mobility and digital training for our employees to guarantee the employability of all in the long term.

This pact is ambitious: we will only succeed if we act together. This is why this pact binds the destiny of several dozen historically different companies, sometimes even competitors, but brought together to achieve a common goal: to increase the share of rail in transport and thus contribute significantly to achieving climate neutrality by 2050. This rail pact is a first victory for European rail.

To transform this victory for European rail into a European victory, we need the Member States and the European Union. We call on them to support this new European Rail Pact by committing themselves to setting clear modal shift objectives at national level. The fight for the protection of the planet and against climate change is not a cost but an investment. Therefore, new resources are needed to better finance the rail system and public transport in general. To invest massively in modernising rail networks, to increase their capacity and interoperability, to support operators in modernising their rolling stock, we need resources.

Finally, we call on the Member States and the European Union to promote fairer competition rules between all modes of transport, including the positive and negative externalities of each. Let us make no mistake, if the train needs Europe, Europe also needs the train to consolidate its industrial leadership, to meet its ecological ambition, and to continue to build itself by strengthening the link between its peoples. Together and united, we are ready to do our part in the new European Rail Pact.

Press article signed by the following CEOs

Railway operator Country CEO

BLS

Switzerland

Daniel Schafer

CFL

Luxemburg

Marc Wengler

CFR Marfa

Romania

Mihai Frasinoi

CP

Portugal

Pedro Moreira

DB

Germany

Richard Lutz

DSB

Denmark

Flemming Jensen

Eurostar

United Kingdom

Jacques Damas

FS

Italy

Luigi Ferraris

Getlink

France

Yann Leriche

Green Cargo

Sweden

Ted Söderholm

HS1

United Kingdom

Dyan Crowther

Infraestruturas de Portugal

Portugal

José Serrano Gordo

LINEAS

Belgium

Bernard Gustin

Lisea

France

Hervé Le Caignec

MAV

Hungary

Robert Homolya

NS

the Netherlands

Marjan Rintel

ÖBB

Austria

Andreas Matthä

SBB CFF

Switzerland

Vincent Ducrot

SNCB

Belgium

Sophie Dutordoir

SNCF

France

Jean-Pierre Farandou

SZ (Slovenske železnice)

Slovenia

Dušan Mes

Thalys

Belgium

Bertrand Gosselin

VR Group

Finland

Lauri Sipponen

ZSSK Cargo

Slovakia

Roman Gono