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Our current travel behaviour is having a big negative impact on the environment. Especially air travel is a huge contributor to climate change due to the large amount of polluting greenhouse gases. “Someone flying from Lisbon to New York and back generates roughly the same level of [CO2] emissions as the average person in the EU does by heating their home for a whole year.” ( In order to reach climate neutrality, we have to change our behaviour and shift to more sustainable modes of transportation. Rail travel is a much more sustainable modality that has big potential to substitute these polluting flights for journeys within Europe.

However, current international rail services are not an integrated and supported experience from start to finish. That’s one of the reasons why air travel is quite often a more often used mode of transportation. In order to reach the desired modal shift from air to rail, a European approach is needed to “lead to more adequate services for the international rail passengers, seamless travelling and more specific ticketing being one of the most important issues to act upon” (Four Country Platform for Cross Border Passenger Railway services, Final report and recommendations, October 2019). Therefore, the goal of this project is to create a future vision focused on the ideal international rail travel experience in 2040, that can inspire and encourage the railway sector to improve European Passenger Railway Services.

Name: Laura van Overhagen
Master: Strategic Product Design
Supervisory Team: Dr. ir. Suzanne Hiemstra-van Mastrigt, Ir. Bart Bluemink
Partners: Ministry of Infrastructure and Water management, NS International

Graduation project