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Swedish and Danish railways lead in Europe

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New study applauds allocation of public subsidies
A comparison between Europe’s railway systems has been released, showing that that Denmark scores highest for safety and has the third best rail system overall. But Sweden scores above Denmark overall, placing second in Europe, largely due to its railway system’s intensity of use. Switzerland scores top overall in Europe.
The report, called “The 2015 European Railway Performance Index: Exploring the Link Between Performance and Public Cost”, by the global management consulting firm Boston Consulting Group, stresses that “understanding the most effective model for allocating public subsidies between infrastructure managers and train-operating companies is critical for improving railway performance in Europe”.
Three tiers of national railways are placed in a graph highlighting intensity of use, quality of service and safety. In tier one, six countries have high-performing railway systems: Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, France, Finland and Germany. In tier two, nine countries perform fairly well and tier three holds ten countries with low overall ratings.
Norway, barely included in Tier 2, comes 15th overall. Finland is in the top tier, placing 5th, between France in 4th and Germany in 6th. The Baltic countries, where bus journeys are far quicker than rail trips, trail in Tier 3. But the lowest positions in Europe are reserved for Bulgaria (last), Portugal, Poland and Romania.
“For national railway systems in Europe, public subsidies provide essential funds to support infrastructure maintenance and passenger and freight operations,” the Boston Consulting Group says. “Our study indicates that the model for allocating public subsidies correlates with a railway system’s performance.”
TTG Nordic
[pictured: Railway trolley on old railway tracks, a different way to discover Sweden; photo by Fredrik Broman /imagebank.sweden.se]

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