A fascinating, well-written piece on why night sleeper trains are disappearing across Europe.
The full article:
Here are some quotes from it:
“What was a coherent network, which nightly and confidently spanned the continent, is becoming an increasingly ragged, bleary-eyed, and vulnerable shadow of its former self. Starved of cross-subsidy and financial support whilst billions are pumped into high speed rail and aviation dodges its environmental on-costs”.
“Sleeper trains are a remnant of when the railways were long distance and international travel – but also a statement of future intent. That in a world where cheap flights cannot last forever (because ultimately either they, or the planet, has to go) that the railways have the vaulting ambition to be part of the solution. A universal offer of trains that not only go fast in the day, but also go bump in the night. Available for those who cannot, or do not wish to fly. Enabling rail to cover all the bases. An extra string to the traveller’s bow. Another tool with which to chip away at the carbon edifice we know has to be scaled back”.
Courts reject the latest legal challenge by environmentalists to proposed Nantes Airport but opponents fight on
Court ruling that removes legal barriers to Munich 3rd runway spurs local people to greater efforts to stop it
Dramatic: 12 Plane Stupid protesters close the runway at Heathrow in protest against possible 3rd runway. The 3rd runway was famously stopped by campaigners in 2010 but pressure from business has put it on the agenda again. The Government will make a decision in November.
Radical tax plan being promoted by campaigners would allow everybody 1 tax-free flight a year but those who fly more would pay more. Green & Fair
Rail passengers in Europe-wide protest against night train cuts
Frankfurt Airport is asking the EU to pay for half the cost of its proposed 3rd Terminal
Local newspaper praises the persistence of the Frankfurt campaigners – their 140th demo in the terminal in protest against the flight path changes brought in when the 4th runway opended in 2011
Campaigners from Germany and Britain had a stand at the annual protest against the new Nantes Airport proposed at the village of Notre-Dames-des-Landes to show support for the local campaigners.
Over 15,000 people turned up during the weekend. Campaigners have recently lost a number of court cases they took to prevent a new airport being built but they intend to appeal. There is also a belief that President Hollande will not give permission for the new runway to be built before the 2017 French Presidential election. He will not want a major environmental battle before the election.
Campaigners argue that the new airport would damage the environment and makes no economic sense.