Ms Catherine Trautmann donates European Railway Award to the European Disability Forum

27 February 2019
Image from the Award ceremony, from left to right: Libor Lochman, CER Executive Director; Philippe Citroën, UNIFE Director General; Nadia Hadad, EDF Member of Executive Committee, Catherine Trautmann, recipient of European Railway Award

This year the European Disability Forum (EDF) had the pleasure of participating in what can be called “the Oscars of the European rail sector”, where it was recognized for its work on making rail and other modes of transport accessible for millions of travellers with disabilities in Europe.

The European Railway Award is an annual celebration of individuals who have an outstanding contribution to advancing and innovating the European rail sector, and is organised by the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER) and the Association of the European Rail Supply Industry (UNIFE).

The European Railway Award 2019 was presented to Catherine Trautmann for her life-long dedication and support to advancing rail transport locally and on European scale. Examples of her contribution include the construction of a high-speed rail line between Paris and Strasbourg and coordinating the development of the North Sea–Baltic Core Network Corridor (part of the EU’s Trans-European Transport Network or TEN-T).

As a strong believer in freedom of movement and everyone’s right to travel, Ms Trautmann decided to donate her award prize of 10,000 Euros to EDF, to support the work of the organisation in achieving full accessibility of transport in Europe. Addressing a room full of high-level EU officials, politicians and rail sector CEOs, Ms Trautmann noted:

I chose to dedicate the prize money to a project of the European Disability Forum, that will help in creating a Europe-wide database to signal accessibility issues in the different transport modes. My belief and learning from past projects is that integrating accessibility into the design of urban and long-distance rail transport is a motor of innovation. That is exactly what is needed to keep the rail sector at the forefront of the future mobility system.

Member of EDF Executive Committee Nadia Hadad received the donation on behalf of EDF, thanking Ms Trautmann and the organisers of the European Railway Award, and emphasising the importance to consider accessibility as one of the most important criteria for transport innovation. To raise awareness on the issues faced by travellers with disabilities in Europe, EDF will use the donation money to create a database of cases related to access discrimination to different modes of transport. The database will also include useful information and contacts to direct and assist passengers with disabilities in cases of discrimination.

**Photo credit: ©CER-UNIFE/Julie de Bellaing

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