Friday, 10 February 2012

The European Union and railways

In January this year I posted yet another article about HS2 and noted that Justine Greening and Statutory Instrument 3066/2011 stated that our rail system is now known as "the rail system within the Community (now the EU)".

On the 8th February Siim Kallas, Vice-President and Commissioner for Transport, gave a speech entitled: "Europe's railways - on track to the future", one in which he made plain that the railway systems of member states will no longer be national railway systems, but will be the European railway system.
"This should be a real European railway to join up east and west, north and south – and not the collection of national railways we have today, struggling with technical differences in track gauges, electrification and signalling."
That Kallas is determined to standardise rolling stock, signalling, locomotive construction, brake design and technology, ticketing, cannot be in doubt. Neither can it be in doubt that as transport is an EU competence there will be some directives issued in the future.

No doubt in the years to come, as with Cameron and his wish for gender equality on company boards, changes to our railways will be presented as a UK government initiative while a little 'digging' will soon show that they are anything but.

Just saying.........


PeterCharles said...

No doubt he will. But why don't people simply take a mental step back when they read about things like TEN-T? Have they not heard the ancient saying 'all roads lead to Rome'? and understand what it says about Empire?

Probably not, no doubt that is too old a history. But can't people put two and two together, like British Empire, roads and railways and why they built them? It wasn't for the convenience of the locals any more than Roman roads were.

One can only assume people just don't care.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

PC: The assumption that people don't care is, perhaps, a tad unkind in that when have they ever been educated by our politicians or the media?

As for 'putting two and two together', when was the last time people were taught to do just that? You know, as well as I do, that they are force-fed a load of 'pap' - both were news and entertainment is concerned - to divert their attention from matters of importance.

Is that not so?

TomTom said...

That Kallas is determined to standardise rolling stock, signalling, locomotive construction, brake design and technology, ticketing, cannot be in doubt.

Oh, he's Estonian, I wonder if he favour French or German technology for this standardisation - he would be hard-pressed to find British technology for Bombardier, it is a Canadian company kept alive because it is headquartered in Montreal, by huge Canadian Government Subsidies

PeterCharles said...

Well, yes it is WfW, but is that really a good enough excuse? When I want to know about something I go and research it, not wait for the BBC or MSM to comment. Perhaps I am just 'lucky' because I have the time and inclination.

And TT, you are, of course correct. One of the other things that were part of the Original EU plan was for France to be the main food producer while Germany was to be the main industrial producer and given the preference still shown to German industry and the continuing enormous subsidies paid to mainly French agriculture despite thirty years of attempts by other EU members to curb the CAP I don't see that it has in anyway changed. So unless at the time it is decided one or other member country needs a 'bung' to keep them sweet you can be sure the contracts will be going to German interests.

PeterCharles said...

On the other hand, WfW, I suppose I should admit that I had a certain reputation at school and college as being, shall we say, argumentative and not inclined to take authority at its word. Goodness, I have even been accused of 'not suffering fools gladly', as if I would!

TomTom said...

Goodness, I have even been accused of 'not suffering fools gladly'

You must find life in this country profoundly depressing !