As travel by train is becoming more and more popular in Europe – also for environmental reasons – we decided to look at some of the main barriers discouraging people from taking the train. We created a list of all the active passenger train stations in 16 European countries (based on the quality of available data) and calculated how far citizens live from them, down to a regional level. We also looked at train prices and travel times, respectively relating them to the median wage and to travel times by car. 

The large collaborative investigation on the European railways and trains was coordinated by Journalism++, which took care of data mining and analyses. Several other EDJNet partner contributed to it.

It's 2019, and travelling by train is more popular than it’s been in decades. But how easy is it for people across Europe to go for a walk and then jump on a train that can take them all the way to the capital in their country? EDJNet simulated more than 40 million journeys to over 20,000 stations in an attempt to answer this question

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Political decisions, wrong investments and increasing competition from buses resulted in longer and longer train travel times, and to a shrinking service. Train transport remains popular, but it has to be made more efficient.

As the Polish government claims to fight against transport exclusion, trains are coming back to some routes that were not operated anymore. The merits and impact of these changes are not clear-cut though, as much larger investments would be needed to rescue local lines.

Where in Europe is taking the train fast and affordable, and where is it not? The European Data Journalism Network has gathered data on train journeys from 28 booking websites across Europe, collecting more than 8,000 single journey ticket prices and travel times for 73 sample routes.