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Whether they’re evacuating civilians, transporting troops or exporting goods, Ukrainian railways are on the frontline of resistance against the Russian invasion.
Currently, trains offer a reasonable alternative to around half of the most popular short-haul flights in Europe. Additional improvements and incentives could bring further reductions in CO2 emissions from transport.
According to the annual assessment of the European Railway Agency, the trend of a steady decrease in the number of rail accidents continues. However, rail-related suicide rates remain roughly the same.
According to absolute numbers, Central Europe can count on the most cross-border train connections on the continent. What happens, however, if we take into account the length of each country’s borders and their population sizes?
A dense network of cross-border rail connections cuts through the continent, and it’s set to expand even further in the coming years thanks to new infrastructure and the birth of the European single rail market. However, there are still profound differences between the central and peripheral regions of Europe.
Greece takes the bloody lead in terms of deaths and injuries in rail accidents in the EU, with about 25 victims per year. Problems are mainly caused by unsafe level crossings, poor infrastructure and traffic management systems, and understaffed companies.
In certain areas of Italy the distance to the nearest railway station makes this form of transport impractical. Below, we take a look at how well or poorly – and how many – schools in these areas are connected to households' places of residence.
Only 30 km of the whole rail network in Greece has functioning train traffic lights. The installation of new European Train Control System has derailed in the country because of mismanagement – costing tens of millions of public funds and several fatalities.
Passenger train services are heavily subsidised in Greece, taking advantage of loopholes and delays allowed by EU law. A new memorandum signed by the government keeps state aid and TrainOSE’s monopoly in place, despite the fact that many routes are not operated and citizens are not happy with the service they receive.
This article tries to answer a seemingly straightforward question: how easy it is for citizens in Europe to travel by train, and what explains differences within countries? In our attempt to answer this, we wanted to look at two measures – distances to train stations and the proportion of people who are well connected to (less than 10,000 steps to a station) versus poorly connected from (at least 30,000 steps to a station) the railway network.