Connecting Europe Express takes off today – All Aboard for a European Year of Railway Workers!

2 Sep 2021

Today Connecting Europe Express takes off from Lisbon, a key highlight of this European Year of Rail 2021. But this year isn’t just about trains and infrastructure; it’s also about the people making it all possible: railway workers.

For the European Commission, the purpose of this train is: ‘to make us better understand the challenges that European rail has to overcome in order to become the mode of choice for passengers and businesses alike.’

Yet, this train would not move a single kilometre without the train drivers, guards, cleaners, maintenance staff, control room personnel, and rail personnel working in the sector.

That’s why, for the European Transport Workers’ Federation and the trade union movement, this is the European Year of Railway Workers – a year to celebrate the importance of their work, and for European leaders to commit to investment in the rail workforce.

It’s time Europe gave back to the railway workers keeping passengers and goods moving on European railways day in and day out!

I thank the workers for making Connecting Europe Express possible and call on Europe’s leaders to show their gratitude by dedicating their energy to making rail as sustainable socially as it is environmentally. This means investing in the workforce and taking action to ensure good working conditions across the sector.

We must not forget that these workers are the future of railways, and without them, we cannot hope to achieve Europe’s ambitions for a European Green Deal,” said Livia Spera, ETF General Secretary.

The ETF will continue to champion railway workers this year and urge employers and policy makers across the continent to:

  • Invest in public railways
  • Keep on-board staff on trains
  • Invest in quality jobs and rail infrastructure
  • Keep passengers and railway workers safe

To find out more about our initiatives, check out our dedicated European Year of Railway Workers page