The European Commission will support ten pilot projects to
establish new cross-border rail links and to improve existing international services,
it announced this week.
The Commission said that after “careful evaluation” it has
selected ten proposals for cross-border pilot services which include a mix of
daytime and overnight sleeper services.
They include new services connecting Hungary, Austria and
western Romania; sleeper services from Amsterdam to Barcelona and between
Paris, Milan and Venice; new services between Munich, Vienna and Budapest; and
enhanced Amsterdam-London services (see below for the full list and route map).
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,” said European
Commissioner for Transport, Adina Vălean.
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. I'm looking forward to working with the rail
sector to make these ten pilots a success and to inspire many more to join."
were submitted in response to the Commission’s action plan to boost
long-distance and cross-border rail services published in December 2021.
There is no
dedicated funding for the pilots but the Commission, together with the European
Railways Agency, will support the projects by facilitating the “coordination of stakeholders
and assessment of compatibility with the legal framework”
and the promotion of new services. Pilot services must commence no later than
December 2029 but could be introduced significantly sooner.
selected operators and proposed routes are as follows:
Ministry of Transport: new services connecting Hungary, Austria and western
• Midnight Trains: new night train service between Paris, Milan
• Flixtrain: new service between Munich and Zurich;
• WESTbahn: new service between Munich, Vienna and Budapest
(including the extension of existing services);
• Nederlandse Spoorwegen in cooperation with Eurostar: the
enhancement of existing Amsterdam to London services;
• European Sleeper: a new night train service between Amsterdam
• Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane & Deutsche Bahn: new
services from Rome to Munich and between Milan and Munich;
• ILSA: new services between Lisbon and A Coruña and from
Lisbon to Madrid;
• Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya: new services
connecting Catalonia and the South of France;
• And improved connections
between Germany, Denmark and Sweden with the cooperation of multiple operators:
Sweden’s SJ railways with a new sleeper service between Stockholm, Copenhagen
and Berlin, and a day train between Hamburg and Gothenburg; another Swedish
operator, Snälltaget, with an enhanced night service
between Stockholm, Copenhagen and Berlin; the Czech Republic’s České dráhy,
with a new service between Prague, Berlin and Copenhagen, in cooperation with Germany’s
Deutsche Bahn (DB)
and Denmark’s Danske Statsbaner (DSB); and Germany’s Flixtrain, with a new
service between Leipzig, Berlin, Copenhagen and Stockholm.