On 21 January 2020, on Sunday evening, Thomas hopped on the very first Vienna-Brussels night train. He was met on arrival by Evelyne, who accompanied a delegation of Belgian Greens ready to take the journey in the other direction.
They used this opportunity to reaffirm a long standing policy of the European Green Party: train travel should be an accessible and realistic alternative to flying for all citizens to travel across Europe. It was a key message of our campaign for the 2019 European Elections, and we are pleased now to see it high on the agenda.
Citizens across Europe are demanding that alternatives to flying are effectively implemented. From the re-opening of the Brussels-Vienna night train to the investment of 62 billion euros in Germany for rail infrastructure over the next 10 years, timid steps are being taken across Europe in the right direction.
Leveling the playing field between train and air traffic, investing in high speed trains, regional trains and night trains are some very concrete steps where the EU can act in particular through targeted funding.
Furthermore, Green Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) are calling for a rapid re-opening of the Paris-Brussels-Berlin night line. Accessible night lines are not only a way for citizens to fully embrace action to fight the climate crisis, they are also a more tangible link between European citizens.