Rail passengers sector is a priority for all railways
Rising technologies in cars today allows anyone to make 1000 km without major difficulties in a dozen hours
Modal share for 2007 by submarket shown the railway sector with an average of 9% and air with 17% 
Passengers railways
Road transport is the leading transport mode since the 1930s. Although born in Germany, the car is essentially synonymous with modern "American way of life". The emergence of the automobile as a consumer commodity dramatically changed the landscape of the world. Suburbs grew out of cities and expanded dramatically metropolitan areas. Individual transportation made easier for all people to commute longer distances. Suddenly, the railway became less necessary than before. 

The development of rail passenger transport should be looked at from two different sectors: the long distance transport and local transport, which do not obey the same constraints. 
Travel for long distances
Competition with airlines
In 1936s in Europe the advent of paid leave brought success to holidays and mass tourism. After second world war, many holiday-makers go on vacation by train, generally to south of Europe. But the 1960s were marked by the development of the building of motorways linking North of Europe to the South and the access to aviation for all. Despite progress in new trains, such as Trans-Europ-Express, the rail market share drop more. New holiday concepts appear, like caravanning, throwing more and more people on the roads. The dispersal of destinations and vacation places is another important factor of train disaffection. 
 
Rising technologies in cars today allows anyone to make 1000 km without major difficulties in a dozen hours. Moreover, all these trips are door-to-door, and this is a huge advantage when you have a lot of luggage. But there are not only holidays for long distances traffic. 

Business trips are subject to a very tough battle. Trans-Europ-Express competed for a period face to commercial services of airliners.  But by the mid-70s, they had  already begun to decline, because their rates with first class supplements offered not a good ratio rates/quality.  
To regain market share, the only weapon against competitors was the advent of high-speed train. High-speed train has allowed to raise the railroad to a modern level and it has become evident that travel time is a major competitive factor for rail. However its success is due partly to the strong growth in trips and travel, encouraged by new ways of working and leisure of our time. According to a study of 2010 "Situation and Perspectives of the Rail Market TREN/R1/350-2008 Lot 2", and despite EU's open borders policy, approximately 90% of international rail passengers travel between neighbouring countries for distances of less than 300 km.

HST services increased by 55% between 2001 and 2009, while long-distances non-HST services decline by -38% at the same time ! Impact was significant to this segment and this has resulted a brutal decline with night trains, particularly in France where the traffic is currently trimmed down to its smallest dimension, and in Belgium where there are not night services since 2003 ! Mode share between neighbouring countries for 2007 by submarket shown the railway sector with an average of 9%, air with 17% and road with…74%.