What we stand for

We are Alliance of Rail New Entrants (ALLRAIL), the European rail association that pushes for more market opening in passenger rail, in order to achieve the innovation that the rail sector desperately needs in order to compete effectively against other less sustainable modes of transport.

Based in Brussels, our organisation has the status of an EU representative body. Our membership consists of independent, 3rd party (i.e. non-state owned incumbent) passenger rail operators and ticket vendors.

Evidence of success

There is clear evidence that, in the limited cases where rail market opening has already occurred, results have benefited passengers, taxpayers, the sector and the environment:

  • Commercially driven ‘open access’ (i.e. non-subsidised) competition between two or more different long distance rail operators on the same tracks has led to impressive modal shift - away from less sustainable aviation- & road-based transport modes.
  • Meanwhile, competitive tendering for subsidised rail public service obligations (‘PSOs’) has led to a “20-30% saving for the taxpayer, with better quality trains as well”[1]. This is the kind of progress that will attract new, additional passengers.
  • Last but not least, Open Data in rail has led to EU-based digital booking platforms (also known as ‘independent ticket vendors’) being able provide a transparent overview of all rail options and combine different rail operators’ tickets in the most optimal manner (for example; showing and selling the cheapest/fastest rail options between any two rail stations across Europe). But sadly this technical innovation can only benefit passengers in those few European countries where data sharing has been mandated (so far).

The Challenge

Unfortunately, the Status Quo is very unsatisfactory. Until now, there have been few EU rail sector initiatives that have genuinely attracted the additional passengers to rail who are critical in order for Europe to reach its ambitious decarbonisation goals. Meanwhile, discrimination against independent passenger rail companies remains a big problem, frightening desperately needed private investment away from the sector.

To conclude, we push for market opening policies that will ensure that passenger rail becomes a crucial part of the EU Green Deal, acting in a fast and effective manner to achieve modal shift - with relatively little cost to the taxpayer.

[1] Matthew Baldwin, Deputy Director EU Commission DG MOVE at Workshop “that took place on 30th May 2018 in Brussels