Over the weeks and months you will have seen out many reports on the problems faced at Europe’s airports.
In the main the effects are felt by short rather than by long-haul travellers.
In a statement issued by Brussels-based ALL RAIL (an organisation representing rail new entrants) the message is clear.
“It is time to end competition between rail and air, and for the aviation sector to transfer its short-haul flights to the train.
“Passenger rail has room to grow in order to satisfy the higher demand. And it can grow even quicker – if EU and national stakeholders provide additional immediate support to railway operators for setting up new services.”
Says ALL RAIL president Dr Erich Forster, “Rail has the capacity to save the day and make up for aviation’s failure”.
As we have noted before rail is a complex and slow-moving industry.
Just last week we reported on Eurostar increasing its Amsterdam service to as many as four services a day.
In truth that extra capacity is needed right now rather than after the summer peak.
Airport congestion and so on must have already led to an increase in rail usage, judging by the higher fares being charged by Eurostar for travel in the coming days.
Indeed when I checked eurostar.com yesterday I found that some services are fully booked for days ahead.
NS (Dutch Rail) said that the number of international rail journeys “is rising sharply”, as quoted by luchtvaartnieuws.nl.
“Ticket sales were higher in May (which is when Schiphol’s problems came to light) for the first time since 2019.
“NS has established that the crowds at Schiphol are partly causing consumers to opt for the train.”
Schiphol itself is not worried that some customers might defect to rail especially, as it must reduce the number of flights.
However Eurostar could only help to a limited degree. I say that because Eurostar really benefits London and the Southeast, whereas most of the UK is more easily reached from Schiphol by air.