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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.
In order to increase security, capacity and competitiveness of European railways, the European Commission is encouraging the adoption of a common railway signage system throughout the entire EU, which is called ERTMS. Its implementation is much more expensive and slow than anticipated however.
EDJNet's large investigation on trains in Europe compared the accessibility of train stations, the price of tickets and the speed of train travel. Slovenia performs well in terms of accessibility and price, and much worse in average speed.
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.
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.