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.