The European Commission will support 10 cross-border rail projects which will improve the existing connections and will establish new ones. This action will boost rail services across the EU making them faster, more frequent and more affordable.
“While demand for green mobility is growing, we need the rail market to respond much better and much faster, especially for long and cross-border journeys. This is why the European Commission now wants to help rail companies create new international train connections – by day and by night – by breaking down the many barriers to cross-border rail,” the European Commissioner for Transport Adina Vălean said.
Following evaluation, the Commission has selected the proposals for cross-border rail projects submitted by the rail sector and relevant authorities under the Action Plan announced in December 2021.
The selected pilot projects are:
- New services connecting Hungary, Austria and western Romania – submitted by the Hungarian Ministry of Transport;
- For Germany – Denmark – Sweden connections four operators submitted their projects: – State-owned Swedish operator SJ proposed Stockholm – Copenhagen – Berlin night service and Hamburg – Gothenburg day services and potentially Oslo, in co-operation with DSB and DB; – Snälltaget (rail operator in Sweden) proposed enhanced night train service on Stockholm – Copenhagen – Berlin route; – State-owned Czech rail operator České dráhy submitted a new service on Prague – Berlin –Copenhagen connection, in co-operation with DB and DSB; – The German open-access operator Flixtrain proposed a new train services on Leipzig – Berlin – Copenhagen– Stockholm route;
- Flixtrain also was selected for a new service on Munich – Zurich route;
- The French company Midnight Trains will start a new night train service on Paris – Milan – Venice;
- WESTbahn plans a new service on Munich – Vienna – Budapest link, as an extension of existing service;
- The Dutch state-owned company NS will enhance the existing Amsterdam – London service, in cooperation with Eurostar;
- European Sleeper was selected for a new night train service on Amsterdam – Barcelona connection;
- FS Italiane and DB proposed new services on Rome – Munich and Milan – Munich routes;
- ILSA will launche new services on Lisbon – A Coruña and Lisbon – Madrid connections;
- Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya (FGC) proposed new services connecting Catalonia and the South of France.
In July 2022, the European Commission has launched the process calling for cross-border pilot projects to substantially improve the rail transport between the European countries. These projects will also improve the collaboration between rail operators as well as the authorities which should work to remove the barriers. Recently, the European Union Agency for Railways, ERA, has published a study identifying the benefits of cross-border services when technical and operational barriers are removed.