Now that Thalys has canceled the official IZY train, there is no cheaper alternative to traveling between Brussels and Paris in an eco-friendly way. But, in particular, the European Union wants to increasingly encourage citizens to travel (relatively) short distances by public transport. As a consumer, are there still enough alternatives to planes and cars? Please contact Alexander Gomme of BackOnTrackBelgium.

“This is bad for train traffic and the climate.” Back On Track Belgium’s Alexander Gomme hasn’t had a hard time about it. The action group does not want IZY to disappear as it claims longer trains between European destinations.

IZY was a budget-friendly alternative to the more expensive Thalys trains between Brussels and Paris, but after July 10th, that option will no longer be available. “If you want to travel to Paris by public transport, you have to choose between bus and Thalys. There’s nothing in between. I think it’s very disappointing,” Gum replies.

Still, Gomme isn’t surprised if another train disappears. “Thirty years ago, we could go directly from Brussels to almost every part of Europe by at least one train a day. These trains were particularly crowded during peak hours, so there were no customers. Not. The economic framework makes it very difficult to operate long-distance trains in an advantageous way. “

Railway liberalization

Therefore, Rubber refers to the liberalization of European railways. In the 1990s, the European Union required member states to divide accounting between infrastructure management and train operation. In Belgium, this created a split between Infrabell and NMBS. The goal is to create opportunities for different airlines to compete on the same truck.

“Before liberalization, infrastructure and trains were owned by the same company, one in each country,” Gomme explains. “These companies were neighbors who cooperated because they were not competitors to each other. From a technical point of view, this division allowed French operators to come to Belgium and become competitors. The treaty has expanded explosively. “”

This indicates that liberalization has completely failed. How else can you explain that such expensive trains are still monopolizing?

Alexander Gomme-Action Group BackOnTrack Belgium

According to Gum, the goal of liberalization has never been achieved. “In principle, after the application, anyone can take the train between Brussels and Paris, but there has been no competition on that axis, which indicates that liberalization has completely failed. Do you always monopolize such expensive trains? “

Therefore, Back On Track insists on another way of working. “We hope that the European Union will build a network in Europe and cooperate with open bidding. Businesses with the lowest bids or willingness to pay the highest bids will monopolize the line. You can get it. “

Source: vrt


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