Italy will launch a new high-speed train between Milan and Paris today. Trenitalia’s twice-a-day service will run along the profitable
Italy will launch a new high-speed train between Milan and Paris today.
Trenitalia’s twice-a-day service will run along the profitable Paris-Lyon line, breaking French National Railways’ chokehold on high-speed services. The launch follows EU legislation that removed obstacles to an integrated rail area, synchronized national rail regulations, and opened passenger routes to greater foreign competition.
The effort to standardize regulations is part of a push to increase cross-border rail traffic, decreasing Europeans’ reliance on cheap but environmentally unfriendly budget airlines. Today’s launch, moreover, forms part of the bloc’s vision to develop a Trans-European Transport Network, linking the continent’s cities to make travel more sustainable and cut transport sector emissions 90% by 2050. The European Investment Bank (EIB) will provide $9.8 billion in funding for new rail cars and equipment in a demonstration of confidence in the expected increase in rail traffic.
Trenitalia’s new high-speed Milan-Paris service is likely the first in a wave of revitalized cross-border train routes. The continent’s long-distance and night-train networks have suffered for years, and the EIB’s funding push will help incentivize sorely needed rolling stock modernization. Decarbonizing transport is critical to achieving the EU’s emission goals, but whether travelers embrace the switch remains unseen.
Wake up smarter with an assessment of the stories that will make headlines in the next 24 hours. Download The Daily Brief.