CER Essay series

CER Essay series

Thursday, 2 March 2023

The CER Essays initiative features a series of essays that show the rail sector as contributing not only to EU transport policy, but touching on different aspects of society at large. Topics covered by the initiative will range from modal shift, climate policy,  infrastructure investment, highspeed rail, demography and more. Each essay will feature a different topic and be co-authored by a CER member CEO and a leading academic from the same country and will be used to spark debate among political stakeholders on the role of rail in the EU.

Essay 5 - Railways and sustainable tourism

By Zoltán Pafféri, Chairman-CEO MÁV, and Professor Bulcsú Remenyik, University of Tokaj

The EU is home to some of the world's largest outbound markets and most visited destinations, while emissions from tourism are expected to grow in the coming years. New patterns of tourism development are needed to address its environmental impact. Railways can help develop touristic destinations that are not adequately served by aviation, open new routes and foster new value chains. This essay looks at how rail plays a role in creating a more sustainable tourism for the future.


Essay 4 - Investing in railways is a key decision for the EU's green future

By Krzysztof Mamiński, CEO PKP, and Assoc. Prof. Jana Pieriegud, SGH - Warsaw School of Economics

Rail is a perfect example of a capital-intensive business with long-term returns on investment that is key to delivering the European Green Deal. To finance rolling stock, maintain and build new rail infrastructure while also progressing on digitalisation, rail companies must find adequate finances beyond customer-driven revenue streams. Drawing on the Polish experience, this essay outlines the bases for viable financial conditions for rail to prosper and offer maximum societal & environmental benefits.


Essay 3 - Czech high-speed rail for a sustainably connected Europe

By Jiří Svoboda, CEO SZCZ, Prof. Ing. Ondřej Jiroušek, CTU, and Assoc. Prof. Otto Plášek, BUT


The EU Smart and Sustainable Mobility Strategy (SSMS) sets out ambitious targets to shift more traffic to rail and achieve a 90% reduction in transport emissions by 2050. One of the tools to ensure rail can deliver is the TEN-T network, which should support a European high-speed network. This essay shows the benefits of high-speed rail within Czechia but also for the wider region, giving an example to other Member States to follow suit for rail to be the backbone of sustainable mobility in Europe.


Essay 2 - Rail's contribution to green transport policy

By Richard Lutz, CEO Deutsche Bahn, and Professor Ottmar Edenhofer, PIK


The EU Fit for 55 package seeks to ensure the EU meets its climate goals. Transport emissions are key to making that happen. Already around 25% of EU emissions come from transport. This figure is rising while rail’s emissions have fallen by 32% over the last three decades. This CER Essay explains that rail must be recognised as the most energyefficient transport mode and an intelligent policy mix is needed to put a price on carbon and use the revenues from emissions trading to improve sustainable mobility.


Essay 1 - The Swiss experience to support modal shift

By Vincent Ducrot, CEO SBB, and Professor Konstantinos Boulouchos, ETH


With the EU Green Deal the moment is right for Europe to convert modal shift targets into concrete policy measures. Switzerland has had a dedicated modal shift policy for cross-alpine freight transport since the 1990s. Today more than 72% of cross-alpine freight traffic in Switzerland is on rail. This shows that a modal shift to rail freight is possible. A closer look at the Swiss  experience can give ideas and inspiration.