CER has announced that it will hold one of the most prominent rail passenger conferences in Budapest in October 2020.
The decision to host CER’s High-Level Passenger Meeting, organized by MÁV-START, was made at the group’s annual meeting in Barcelona recently, which touched upon the role of railways in the European Union’s mobility strategy.
The annual CER event is one of the most prominent, prestigious passenger transport meetings of European rail diplomacy, attended by senior executives from leading European passenger railway companies.
One of the strategic goals of MÁV-START is to become the leading railway operator in the Carpathian Basin. To achieve this, the company already has a strong international network with year-on-year growth in passenger numbers.
MÁV-START carried 3.1 million passengers in international traffic last year, providing a solid basis for plans to improve its international services. There are many cities around Hungary that are experiencing a steadily growing demand for business and tourism travel, not just within the country but beyond.
The Hungarian-populated areas are of special importance to MÁV-START, and it would like to have more and more trains operating in Upper Hungary, Transcarpathia, Transylvania and Vojvodina.
The railway company further plans to serve all target groups internationally in a high-quality and economical way: providing business travelers with first-class travel and dining car services, and night-time trains to tourist destinations such as Zurich, Munich, Berlin and Prague. During the summer, it offers several domestic destinations (including Lake Balaton and Lake Tisza) and Adriatic Sea resorts catering for families.
Longer-term international development plans include the introduction of domestically produced IC + seating wagons, modernization of the carriages, and refurbishment of the dining cars. The vehicle and track developments are expected to expand the international service network to Western Europe, especially to major cities in Germany, and to Belgrade and Balkan tourist and summer holiday destinations (e.g. Sofia, Thessaloniki, Bar, Istanbul).
In order to develop its international service, MÁV-START regularly consults with railway companies in neighboring countries, as well as with Germany and Switzerland. Therefore, MÁV-START is in an ideal position to host CER’s international conference in 2020.