The railway sector resumes its activity following a phase marked by the global health emergency caused by the impact of Covid-19.
Over the past few months, intensive work has been done to ensure a safe environment in public transport, and in particular the railway, by implementing all the measures issued by the health authorities in an agile and efficient manner. However, efforts must now focus especially on regaining user confidence to resume the usual circulation flows.
The following pages contain numerous testimonies from public administrations, institutions, operators, metros and trams detailing how work is being carried out to face these new challenges and to convey to the passengers full reliability in railway infrastructure and services.
From Mafex we would particularly like to thank you for your participation and the valuable testimonies you give us to learn more about the roadmap you have set out to achieve this goal and to give back to the railway the central place it has in today’s mobility.
Precisely, this ability to react to such special circumstances has been made possible by the technological advances of the industry and its wide range of solutions. The most cutting-edge developments, once again, have been key to providing real-time information, having a robust system of capacity control and asset monitoring, making electronic payments or applying disinfection methods of maximum efficiency, among other multiple examples.
It should also be noted that, in the scenario of new normality, the railway is shaping up as the best alternative for safe, sustainable and efficient mobility. Proof of this is the administrations’ commitment to strengthen reconstruction based on a carbon-neutral economy, as set out in the European Green Pact (Green Deal) and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The agreement wants the evolution of the economy towards more efficient and less polluting model of society.
To this end, the European authorities are committed to a modal shift and a more environmentally friendly mobility with a clear main character, the railway. It is the most environmentally friendly, accessible, digitalised and safe mode of public transport. With its high energy efficiency, low CO2 emissions and ability to safely move millions of people and tons of goods around the world, this means presents itself as the solution to major social challenges from globalization to new smart city models, climate change or travel in the new normal.
The boost to this means is also crucial for business revival, as its industry, key to GDP, generates more than 400,000 direct and indirect jobs across Europe. In addition, it has an innovative supply chain, made up of hundreds of SMEs and large corporate groups, which stand out for their technological advances and excellence in service.
To return to the path of sustainable growth in the current scenario, the railway must remain the backbone of transport policies. It is necessary to maintain the planned investment in infrastructure and mobile material, to continue with public tenders by the administration and to redesign a comprehensive internationalisation strategy, to promote the competitiveness of all its companies. This is in addition to making a strong boost to R&D&I as a differentiation factor.
The sector must now respond to the new challenges it faces, both present and future, with the capacity for innovation that characterises it. Further progress needs to be made on issues such as intermodality, energy efficiency, Mobility as a Service (MaaS) or digitalisation. All this, accompanied by communication and awareness campaigns to regain confidence in public transport.
Once again, the joint work of a consolidated sector such as the railway will be key to confidently advance towards sustainable mobility, free of emissions and with full guarantees for travellers and the planet.
Pedro Fortea, General Director MAFEX