The Connecting Europe Express train departed from Lisbon on 2 September, off to span 100 cities during 5 weeks. It is scheduled to arrive to the City of Lights, Paris, on 7 October, after 36 days of driving. The Europe Express will cross 26 countries and a total of 20 000 km.
1. Betting on railway travelling
Over the coming weeks, the Connecting Europe Express will become a rolling conference, laboratory and forum for public debate on how to make rail the transport mode of choice for passengers and businesses alike,” said the European Commissioner for Transport Adina Valean.
The Connecting Europe Express, part of the European Year of the Rail 2021, is the result of unique cooperation between the European Commission and the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER), European rail operators, infrastructure managers and numerous other partners at EU and local level.
Due to the different gauge widths in Europe, the Europe Express will be comprised of three trains that will meet along the route — the Iberian train, the Standard train and the Baltic train.
2. Identifying challenges
We need to continue to shift freight from road to rail, provide efficient services for daily commuters and expand international long-distance passenger rail transport with day and night services.Andreas Matthä, CER’s Chair
The project is a reminder of the lack of interoperability between some parts of Europe’s rail network, the Commission said, hoping that the trip will demonstrate the very good cooperation in place between railway undertakings and infrastructure managers
3. Carbon-neutral transport sector
CER members are committed to make the Green Deal a success. A strong European railway sector is vital for achieving the EU climate targets
Andreas Matthä, CER’s Chair
Transport Commissioner Valean further noted that rail is Europe’s future, and a safe and smart route to mitigating climate change. Betting on increased and interconnected railway trips could power economic recovery from the pandemic and help building a carbon-neutral transport sector.