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European Year of Rail: Connecting Europe Express now leaving the station

European Year of Rail: Connecting Europe Express now leaving the station
photo: Connecting Europe Express/European Year of Rail: Connecting Europe Express now leaving the station
02 / 09 / 2021

The ‘Connecting Europe Express', a special train put together as part of the European Year of Rail2021, will pull out of Lisbon train station on 2 September. It will stop in more than 100 towns andcities during its five-week journey, before arriving in Paris on 7 October. Departing from Lisbon andending its trip in Paris, the train will make a notable stop in Ljubljana, connecting the Portuguese,Slovenian and French Presidencies of the Council of the EU.

European Commissioner for Transport, Adina Vălean said: “Rail has shaped our rich, common

history. But rail is also Europe's future, our route to mitigating climate change and powering

economic recovery from the pandemic, as we build a carbon-neutral transport sector. 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. Please give us a warm welcome when we stop at a railway station near you.”

Along the route, various events are planned to welcome the train at railway stations across Europe.

Rail enthusiasts can also follow debates happening on board as well as conferences on EU

infrastructure policy and the role of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T), that will be

live-streamed via the event website from Lisbon, Bucharest, Berlin, and Bettembourg. The Connecting

Europe Express is the result of a 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 the EU and local levels.


CER Chair and CEO of Austrian Federal Railways, Andreas Matthä emphasized the significance of the

joint project: “The Connecting Europe Express is impressive proof of the success of the European

Year of Rail, at the same time it points out our joint challenges ahead. CER members are committed

to make the Green Deal a success. A strong European railway sector is vital for achieving the EU

climate targets. Currently, there are too many technical barriers in cross-border rail transport, and it is very complex to run a train across national borders in Europe. 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. I am convinced that the Connecting

Europe Express will raise awareness of these challenges. I would like to thank all colleagues and

partners who made this project possible and wish the Connecting Europe Express a good journey.”